Fake claims, real consequences

The destruction of making a false report

We all love attention. If you think I don’t love to see my name in the newspaper every week then you are mistaken. I long for the Wednesday night meetings at the Torch where my coworkers clap upon my arrival. But just how far will people go to get their much needed attention?

You might remember getting a text or email from Ferris about an assault that happened on campus. According to the student, she was grabbed by a man while walking in the dark. That is one of the more unsettling things to hear about on your campus.

Well hold on, because it turns out it was all false. The student admitted to lying about the incident. I don’t know what her motives were, but I think it’s a safe assumption she did it for attention. This kind of thing goes beyond just “not cool.” There are serious consequences to making a false report of this kind.

The police allocated time to this, Ferris administration gave it their attention, and the student body was put on edge, all because one person needed someone to pat her on the back and call her brave. Not to mention the permanent water mark on our school. Picture this conversation, “Hey mom , should I go to Ferris?” “The school where all the assaults happen? No, you should go to Central.”

These incidents happen all the time, not just at Ferris, and a lot of the time they have even more serious outcomes. A couple of years ago, a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia. All Greek life at the school was suspended, the fraternity house was vandalized and nearly destroyed and members of the fraternity received death threats. As it turns out, the “victim” made it all up. The assault never happened.

This incident went from a hand grenade to a nuclear bomb when Rolling Stone magazine did a story about the sexual assault. Fact checking was apparently not on the priority list of the journalist who wrote the piece. Many innocent people were made to look evil and the University of Virginia name will be synonymous with this story for a long time.

Want more examples? Google them— there are hundreds. Any serious crime, especially sexual assault, should be investigated to the fullest extent. That is what makes false claims all the more destructive. An atmosphere of falsehoods leads people to not take these claims seriously. People who are actually victims of a crime are not taken as seriously because of the jerks who seek attention in this way.

I am in no way calling for putting less trust in victims of crimes. What I am calling for is for people to be honest. Your life may be boring, but do not let your misfortune hurt others.