As schoolgirls in the South face a wave of high-profile harassment, some say the state should focus on the girls themselves instead of being distracted by their sexual identity.
But for students like Taylor, the fight against sexual violence is not just about their school.
It’s about their safety and their future.
Taylor is a student at Collier County High School in Tampa.
Her parents have been in court since August over a 2015 incident where Taylor was attacked and raped by two men in a parking lot.
“It’s hard to understand how they could do it to me, how could they do it.
You know, it’s like I don’t even know how to feel,” she told the Associated Press.”
The fact that I’m a little girl, I feel like I have to fight back.”
The incident happened just days after Taylor graduated from high school.
She was walking home from school, and the men allegedly followed her as she walked down the street.
Taylor said she was walking alone when two men approached her and demanded that she remove her clothes.
They were also holding a knife to her throat.
Taylor says the attackers threatened to cut off her left ear and cut her nose if she did not comply.
She says the men threatened to call the police.
“If I don, if I do not get up, they are going to call police and they are gonna put me in jail,” Taylor said.
Taylor and her mother filed a complaint against the two men, but the case never went to trial.
Instead, Taylor’s mother was charged with filing a false police report.
“She [my mother] didn’t even tell me what she did, but I knew it was a false report, and I just felt like I had to get out of there,” Taylor told the AP.
“So, I’m like, ‘OK, this is a false case, and if you can prove it, we can fight this,'” she said.
Collier County Schools spokeswoman Traci Anderson said it was her understanding that Taylor filed a false incident report against the men, and that the incident report was then later removed.
But Collier High School Principal Susan Batson says Taylor was the one who filed the false report.
Anderson says the school and the district are taking the situation seriously and will have an open-records request with the accuser.
She added that it’s unclear how the accuser was notified of the false complaint.
“There are multiple allegations against him.
The school and we are investigating this to see if any of them are credible and if anyone else is being lied to,” Anderson said.”
This is the kind of bullying that is going on, and it’s hard for our students to come to school, to see someone like that.”
Tara Taylor says her daughter was attacked by two other men, one of whom threatened to stab her in the throat.
Taylor says the two attackers threatened the girl with a knife if she didn’t remove her clothing.
Taylor is now suing the two alleged attackers, Collier Schools, and other individuals.
The lawsuit also names the city of Tampa as a defendant.
“I feel like there’s so much injustice going on in the state right now, and unfortunately it’s going to continue to get worse, and we’re just not going to get anywhere,” Taylor, who has a 3.1 GPA, said.