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University of Central Missouri Responds to Controversy Surrounding Maryville Rape Case

Matt Barnett (politicalfreakshow.com)

Yesterday (Oct. 15) the University of Central Missouri’s News Bureau sent out a statement to students and faculty regarding the recently published article in the Kansas City Star about the Daisy Coleman court case. The article describes the Coleman family’s woes after their then 14-year-old daughter was allegedly raped by the accused, Matthew Barnett, who is currently a student at UCM.

The charges have recently been dropped against Barnett due to a lack of sufficient evidence, sparking public outcry from students at UCM since Barnett himself is a student at the university.

The Maryville case has made national headlines already. It has been featured on sites such as CNN and USA Today, which is why UCM’s News Bureau was prompted to issue a statement about the incident via press releases and social media.

The UCM News Bureau reminded students and faculty that public safety is at their utmost concern. The university emailed the following statement to students and faculty, citing Title IX in UCM’s Confidentiality, Privacy and Reporting Policy:

An article that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Sunday, Oct. 13, has created strong reactions on social media with regard to an alleged sexual assault that took place in Maryville, Mo. Per the article, this incident occurred more than a year ago, and all charges against persons of interest were dropped.

The university is required to allow all qualified and eligible students to pursue an education. UCM continues to uphold the rights and responsibilities of all students and employees.

The university is strongly committed to continuing to create a safe and supportive campus environment free from harassment and hostility. Consistent with this goal, we are sharing a link to resources available to the UCM community to support a safe and healthy campus for our students and employees.(ucmo.edu/titleix/confidentiality.cfm#resources)

On UCM’s Facebook page, students are blowing up the news feed with comments like, “Not a school I would want to attend if I was a women…” and “Congrats on having a rapist, Matt Barnett, as a student of your school.”

UCM’s Twitter account has been responding to a flurry of tweets from livid students. Their official statement has been, “UCM is required to allow qualified/eligible students to pursue an education. We are committed to safety.”

Has UCM handled the situation properly?  Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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