BRADLEY — More than 100 Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School students had taken part in a protest outside the school this morning around 7:30 a.m., prior to the start of classes.
Standing with a growing group of students along the roadway in front of the school, a student with teal-colored handprints painted on her body held a hand-made sign that read, "Honk if you think BBCHS should be held accountable for allowing sexual assault." The group was chanting, "Change BB."
The Daily Journal contacted BBCHS principal Brian Wright and he said no reports of sexual assault have been made with the school, and a report of sexual harassment was determined to be unfounded.
She was one of many bearing the teal color markings as participating students were painting the handprints on each other out front of the school. Teal is the official color of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which comes in April. Some students also wore red handprints.
There was a police presence at the school but was mostly ensuring students stayed out of the roadway.
The Daily Journal received a flyer on Thursday that was reportedly hung in the school building. Marked with handprints, the sign read, "End sexual harassment at BBCHS" and featured a QR code that was directed to an online petition titled "Justice for women against BBCHS."
As of 8 a.m., the petition had 2,395 signatures with a stated goal of 2,500. The site credits a Melanie Jensen with starting the petition. The Journal has no information on who exactly Jensen is, but has been informed it's not a resident of Manteno with the same name.
The text affiliated with the online petition, again credited to Jensen, said "Multiple students, women, including my close friend have been sexually harassed and assaulted by a specific person. The school has done nothing to help or change this from happening and instead have switched my friend's schedule completely so she doesn’t have to see him, instead of punishing him."
It goes on to say that the school's response has been to say the action doesn't violate the school handbook.
"Something needs to change. If you sign this petition then hopefully the school opens their eyes and does something about it, if not then we’ll keep doing stuff about it," the petition continues.
This is a developing story. Check back at daily-journal.com for updates.