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    Posted December 5, 2012 by
    Greenville, South Carolina

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    Bob Jones University Hires Independent Ombudsman to Investigate Allegations of Sexual Abuse


    Bob Jones University Hires Independent Ombudsman to Investigate Allegations of Sexual Abuse


    In less than a week alumni of Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC will remember the one-year anniversary of a historic moment in their alma mater’s history – the first organized protest, known as Do Right BJU, on the campus of the radical, fundamentalist institution. Known as the World’s Most Unusual University, BJU has been in the headlines throughout the past year not only for its unusual regulations and standards but also for more significant issues such as numerous allegations of sexual abuse, an ongoing culture of shaming victims, and the retaliatory expulsion of the founder of Do Right BJU, Christopher Peterman.


    This past winter, on December 12, 2011, a small group of students and alumni gathered on the campus of Bob Jones University to protest this culture of shame and the continued degradation of victims of sexual abuse. The protest stemmed from the reinstatement of Pastor Charles “Chuck” Phelps to the Operating Board of Trustees at BJU.


    According to an investigation by ABC’s 20/20, police reports, court evidence, and eye witness accounts, Chuck Phelps was directly involved in covering up the rape of a 15-year-old girl in his church. Chuck Phelps also demanded that the she apologize in front of the entire congregation for becoming pregnant. He then forced her to move out of state where she had to give up her baby to a family of Chuck Phelps’s choosing.


    Christopher Peterman, a then senior at BJU, founded Do Right BJU as a Facebook group and the group quickly soared to over 1,000 members. On December 12, 2011 approximately 100 students and alumni wore red to show their support for victims of sexual abuse.


    Because of the overwhelming public pressure, BJU announced on December 22, 2011 that a Sexual Abuse Committee would be formed to investigate allegations of abuse that occurred on campus or that had been covered up.


    Exactly a month after Christopher Peterman’s expulsion from Bob Jones University on April 24, 2012 for “disrespect and insubordination,” Bob Jones University announced the findings of the Sexual Abuse Committee. On May 25, 2012 BJU pledged to hire an independent ombudsman to investigate the claims of abuse – exactly what Do Right BJU had called for merely 5 months earlier.


    Alumni and students waited for nearly 6 months for the announcement of the independent ombudsman. On November 8, 2012 BJU announced the hiring of G.R.A.C.E., Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, the very organization suggested by Do Right BJU.


    According to G.R.A.C.E. the investigation will begin immediately after the beginning of the new year. Former students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to reach out to G.R.A.C.E. to report any allegation of abuse. Contact G.R.A.C.E. at grace.bobjones@netgrace.org.


    As the one-year anniversary of Do Right BJU nears, its supporters and organizers are preparing to celebrate a monumental victory in abuse awareness and support at Bob Jones University. Justice and healing are coming to the halls of BJU and G.R.A.C.E. is the reason why.
    Sadly, there have been recent reports of harassment by faculty and staff to individuals who have expressed their desire to report their situations to G.R.A.C.E. and there have been allegations of student record tampering by the administration of BJU.


    As the investigation moves forward, Do Right BJU and G.R.A.C.E. will take every allegation seriously and encourage reporting to law enforcement. The culture of shame and the covering up of abuse will end at BJU. The time to report is now.






    G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment): http://netgrace.org


    Do Right BJU: http://www.facebook.com/DoRightBJU

    Other iReports -----


    Part 1: Bob Jones University expels a senior nine days before graduation: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-782070


    Part 2: Bob Jones University expels a senior nine days before graduation: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-782218


    Part 3: Bob Jones University expels a senior nine days before graduation:


    Nine forcible sex offenses occurred at Bob Jones University in 2011: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-850774


    BJU press releases -----


    BJU Board Initiates Committee to Review Sexual Abuse Policy: http://www.bju.edu/news/2011-12-23-committee.php?utm_source=News-Events&utm_medium=RSS&utm_content=feed&utm_campaign=RSS-News


    Findings of the Committee that Reviewed BJU’s Sexual Abuse Policy and Its Application http://www.bju.edu/news/2012-05-25-committee.php


    BJU Announces Ombudsman: http://www.bju.edu/news/2012-11-08-ombudsman.php


    News articles -----


    Bob Jones University Students, Alumni Hold Silent Protest (WSPA): http://www2.wspa.com/news/2011/dec/12/3/bob-jones-university-students-alumni-hold-silent-p-ar-2852889/


    Bob Jones U. student denied diploma, alleges retaliation for activism (CNN): http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/08/us/bju-student-suspension-irpt/index.html


    Bob Jones University Names Independent Group To Investigate Alleged Abuse Cases (WSPA): http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/nov/09/6/bob-jones-university-names-independent-group-inves-ar-4932115/


    Christian University Student Expelled for Outing Child Rape Cover-Up (Daily Kos): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/26/1086504/-Bob-Jones-University-Student-Expelled-for-Watching-Glee


    This Student Was Kicked Out of College For Watching Glee (Huffington Post): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/this-student-was-kicked-o_n_1459660.html


    Bob Jones Student Caught Watching “Glee” Says it Appears He Won’t Graduate Fri. (WSPA): http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/may/04/bob-jones-student-caught-watching-glee-kicked-camp-ar-3681625/


    BJU student claims he was suspended for watching ‘Glee’ (FOX Carolina): http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/18034715/bob-jones-students-claims-he-was-suspended-for-watching-glee


    Other articles and links -----


    Do Right BJU Movement Flies Plane Over BJU On Commencement Day (BJU News): http://bjunews.com/2012/05/04/do-right-bju-movement-flies-plane-over-bju-on-commencement-day/


    This Student Was Kicked Out of College For Watching Glee (Crushable): http://www.crushable.com/2012/04/27/entertainment/glee-chris-peterman-bob-jones-university-499/


    Gleek Expelled From School For Watching The Show? (Perez Hilton): http://perezhilton.com/2012-04-27-bob-jones-university-kicks-student-out-for-watching-glee#.UL-wK6mhDzI


    SC Man I was Kicked Out of College for Watching Glee (The Advocate): http://www.advocate.com/society/religion/2012/04/26/sc-man-i-was-kicked-out-college-watching-glee


    Bob Jones University Expelled Before Graduation For Watching Glee (Op Ed / Crushable): http://www.crushable.com/2012/05/01/other-stuff/chris-peterman-bob-jones-university-glee-198/


    Christopher Peterman (Youtube): http://www.youtube.com/user/MrChrisPeterman

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