Josi Harrison, Laura Lefebvre and Allysun Harkleroad have spoken out against the Clatskanie School District for failing to take action against the “sextortion” that the girls allege took place.
Portland news channel KGW reported that the girls, now 15, first began experiencing harassment three years ago when their then-boyfriends asked them to send naked pictures of themselves.
"He was telling me, 'we'll get back together. It's how you can prove to me you really like me,’" said Lefebvre.
They boys then began harassing the girls, making verbal threats and demanding more photos.
"He had told me that they had photos of me and I wasn't sure how or why but they also did have access to the girl's locker room," said Harrison.
Things quickly spiraled out of hand as the harassment turned physical. It even drove Lefebvre to attempt suicide.
"I called the principal and I said, enough is enough. This has got to stop. You have to protect her and he said to me that it had to be handled very delicately because he didn't want the bullying and the harassment to get worse than what she deserved," said Jennifer Lefebvre, Laura’s mother.
"I said 'she doesn't deserve this at all. No child deserves this.' And we knew then that it was lost cause. A few days later, Laura attempted suicide and she said like she felt like the people who are supposed to protect her and keep her safe either couldn't or wouldn't."
Teachers at Clatskanie Middle-High School, which the girls no longer attend, remained impassive even as they bore witness to the bullying, reported Oregon Live. When a boy slapped Lefebvre across the face, reopening stiches from oral surgery, the teacher reportedly responded, “you’re fine.” Another told Harrison to “suck it up” when a boy slapped her buttocks.
Harrison’s family filed a civil suit against Columbia County in May. After only one boy experienced repercussions for his actions, their lawyers have now filed a federal suit against the Clakstanie School District.
Harrison appeared on NBC’s “Today” show in September with her mother Annie. Also commenting on the show was Steven Sherlag, a lawyer representing one of the boys in the lawsuit. Sherlag urged viewers to consider the other side of the story, and claimed that the Harrisons were playing “the victim card.”