An Open Letter To Brock and Dan Turner

Daily Prompt

The case against former Stanford University, Brock Turner, has been all over the news and social media due to its recent verdict.

Twenty-year-old, Turner, got sentenced to a mere six months in county jail with probation, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

While the story itself is disgusting, the victim spoke out in court in an inspiring message that has since gone viral. But as if to not leave it on the note of this woman’s bravery and courage, Turner’s father wrote a letter in opposition of his son’s, already lenient sentencing.

Well Dan Turner, I have taken the time to dissect your hard-to-read letter to Judge Persky.

Honorable Judge Aaron Persky,

I am writing this letter to tell you about my son Brock and the person that I know he is. First of all, let me say that Brock is absolutely devastated by the events of January 17th and 18th 2015. He would do anything to turn back the hands of time and have that night to do over again. In many one-on-one conversations with Brock since that day, I can tell you that he is truly sorry for what occurred that night and for all the pain and suffering that it has caused for all of those involved and impacted by that night. He has expressed true remorse for his actions on that night. Living under that same roof with Brock since this incident, I can tell you firsthand the devastating impact that it has had on my son. Before I elaborate more, I would like to share some memories of my son that demonstrate the quality of his character.

Brock has an easygoing personality that endears him to almost everyone he meets. He has always been a person that people like to be around whether they are male or female. This has been true from the time Brock was in pre-school to today. I have never seen Brock raise his voice to anyone and he doesn’t pre-judge anyone. He accepts them for who they are no more, no less. He has a very gentle and quiet nature and a smile that is truly welcoming to those around him. I have never once heard him brag or boast about any accomplishment that he has ever achieved. He is simply a very humble person who would rather hear about someone else’s accomplishments rather than talk about his own. Brock has an inner strength and fortitude that is beyond anything I have ever seen. This was no doubt honed over many years of competitive swimming and has been a major reason for his ability to cope over the last 15 months.

Brock has always been an extremely dedicated person whether it was academics, Sports, or developing and maintaining friendships and relationships. Brock’s dedication to academics started early in grade school. My fondest memory is of helping Brock prepare for his weekly Spelling test. Doing well on these tests was very important to Brock and he would start preparing the day before by memorizing the words and making sure he had everything together in his mind. I would have to quiz him over and over just so he was sure he would do well on the test. He would make me give him a final preparation quiz as we drove to school on Friday mornings. I can assure you that Brock always did well on these exams. While this example may seem trivial, it was an early indicator of the importance he placed on academic achievement that never left him. As he got older and progressed in school, he needed my intervention less and less as he is gifted in his ability to understand very complicated subject matter. This natural ability along with an extremely strong work ethic lead to academic success at all levels.

Brock was equally talented in athletics participating in baseball, basketball, and swimming. I was his baseball and basketball coach and his Cub Scout den leader for many years during his grade school years. I was so proud to participate and serve as his coach and leader as it meant that I got to spend more time with him. I was also a parent chaperone for many school outings and often times was the only dad along on these field trips. For me, I loved every minute of it because Brock was a pleasure to be around and he always treated the other kids, parents, and teachers with-respect. I will cherish the memories of those years forever.

In the late summer before Brock’s senior year in high school, he applied to Stanford with the dream of taking both his academic and athletic talents to the next level. Brock had a large amount of interest from many Division-1 coaches due to his swimming success and outstanding grades in school. Many college coaches pursued Brock based on the entire body of work that he represented. However, Stanford was always the apple of his and the ultimate prize for someone who had worked so hard for so long. Brock and first visited Stanford in the summer of 2011 between his freshman and sophomore years in high school. Brock was there to compete in his first national level swim meet called the USA Junior Nationals. We were both totally in awe of the campus, the swimming facilities, and the rich history that the university represented. I remember commenting to Brock at the time that wouldn’t this be a great place to go to school. it was swimmers that had attended Stanford. This first exposure to Stanford made a lasting impression on Brock. Our family was full of pride and joy when we found out in the fall of 2013 that Brock had been accepted to Stanford. This was a culminating event for Brock as we knew how much work he had put in to get to that’ point. The thing that made Us most proud .was the fact that Brock had to be accepted academically before he could be considered for an athletic scholarship. This was especially significant given Stanford’s 4% acceptance rate for that particular year. Brock was awarded a 60% swimming scholarship by the university. Even with such a generous offer, my wife and I both knew it would be a financial struggle for our family for Brock to attend Stanford, but we were determined to make it work because we knew the value of a Stanford education. As Brock’s senior year passed, he was characteristically humble about being admitted to Stanford and continued to work hard until the very last minute of high school on academics and swimming.

When Carleen and I took Brock to Stanford in September 2014 to begin his freshman year, we both felt he was totally prepared for the experience. He had been to many national level swim camps and meets and was comfortable being away from home. We were very excited for Brock as he settled into Stanford during that first quarter as a brand new student athlete. He excelled in school that quarter earning the top GPA for all freshmen on the swim team. What we didn’t realize was the extent to which Brock was struggling being so far from home. Brock was working hard to adapt to the rigors of both school and swimming. When Brock was home during Christmas break, he broke down and told us how much he was struggling to fit in socially and the fact that he did not like being so far from home. Brock was nearly-distraught knowing that he had to return early from Christmas break for swimming training camp. We even questioned whether it was the right move to send him back to Stanford for the winter quarter. In hindsight, it’s clear that Brock was desperately trying to fit in at Stanford and fell into the culture of alcohol consumption and partying. This culture was modeled by many of the upperclassmen on the swim team and played a role in the events of Jan 17th and 18th 2015. Looking back at Brock’s brief experience at Stanford, I honestly don’t believe it was the best fit for him. He was ready academically and athletically, but it was simply too far from home for someone who was born and raised in the Midwest. He needed the support structure of being closer to family and friends.

As it stands now, Brock’s life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn’t be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock. He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015. Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity. By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.

Very Respectfully,

Dan A. Turner

Okay, I don’t even know where to begin.

I understand as a parent it must be very hard to see your child go through this, but this letter was an embarrassment.

First off, you never even MENTIONED the girl your son RAPED. No apology, no remorse, no thought of her and her life.

Secondly, in case you are unaware your son wasn’t caught for shoplifting. He didn’t act out in class and now you’re writing an apology to his teacher. HE RAPED A YOUNG GIRL. Reading this letter was like reading a letter of recommendation for a job. You spent most the letter bragging about how great your son is and what he’s accomplished.

Thirdly, are you really going to sit there and blame the school and him trying to “fit in” for what he did? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I can not put into words how ridiculous this is. “This culture was modeled by many of the upperclassmen on the swim team and played a role in the events of Jan 17th and 18th 2015.”

Growing up, my parents always asked me, “If your friends were to jump off a bridge, would you?” Well in Brock’s case, I guess he did. He jumped right off that damn bridge and it’s totally okay because it’s just because the people he hangs out with. Oh wait, IT’S NOT OKAY.

Brock states in his letter in court, “I’ve been shattered by the party culture and risk taking behavior that I briefly experienced in my four months at school. I’ve lost my chance to swim in the Olympics. I’ve lost my ability to obtain a Stanford degree. I’ve lost employment opportunity, my reputation and most of all, my life.” Oh, poor you. So sad YOU can’t go to the Olympics, and it’s so sad YOU can’t go back to Stanford. The poor girl YOU RAPED also has to live with YOUR actions.

Brock also refused to mention his victim and apologize. His whole statement was about how alcohol changed him. (I literally want to beat my head on my desk as I read his and his father’s letter.)

One more comment that his ridiculous father made was, “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” Do you even realize how long 20 minutes is?? A life can change in just two seconds and your disgusting son RAPED this girl for 20 minutes when she had no power to defend herself.

According to Dailymail, Turner will serve just four of the six months he was due to spend in jail, and will be free by September 2.

He deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life. The fact that he only has to stay there until September 2 is an insult to every victim of sexual assault.

You, Brock Turner, are the new face of rape culture. I hope the articles about you and the hate mail you will receive, actually affect you and next time you or your father spend time typing a stupid letter maybe think about apologizing to the person you affected. I hope you realize what you have actually done. You have destroyed that girl’s life forever.

When you lay down at night, you should think about her being your daughter. If you have a daughter and someone rapes her are you going to feel anything for her? Will you stop playing the victim finally? If someone rapes your daughter are you going to be like, “it’s okay sweetie. It was just because you were drunk and he was drunk.” No, because normal human beings take responsibility for their actions. You, hopefully, will be pissed. And maybe you’ll understand where EVERYONE else is coming from.

I hope your father can somehow find a way to live with himself long enough to look you in the face and tell you he’s sorry for failing you as a dad and not teaching you that your actions have consequences and you are not the most important person on this Earth.

 

Sincerely,

One Pissed Off Writer

 

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The Boy In College

Dear young me,

Your first breakup will be the hardest. You will lay in bed, crying for days because you built your life around him and when he leaves you, you’ll think this is it. There is no one out there for you.

But it gets better with time.

Your future boyfriend will treat you right. He will remind you how beautiful you are, not point our your flaws and compare you to others.He will ask about your day and really mean it. He’ll show you off to all his friends and brag about everything you do for him. He’ll let you have your moods, then remind you he loves you.

It gets better.

He’ll take you to meet his family and they will treat you like they have known you forever. He will laugh at all your jokes (that aren’t that funny). He will take a million pictures with you until you finally like one. He will let you put your cold feet on him at night, just to keep you warm.

He won’t give up. He’ll be there for you. He will treat you like the princess you are. I promise.

Don’t give up on love just because that one boy in high school broke your heart. Don’t give up on love because there is someone out there willing to pick up every piece of your heart and break down every wall you’ve built up because someone hurt you. There’s someone out there who will treat you right because the thought of losing you kills him. He will love you and you will love him, more than anything.

Don’t give up. Love is hard, but it gets better.

Love,

Your future self

A Tale of Two Cities

Daily Post

 

They tell you when you’re younger to go to a college far far away from your home.

“You want to grow up independent” “You want to experience life without your family close by”. For some this may be true, but growing up with your family being your best friends, leaving home is hard.

I am 9 hours from my dad and step mom and twenty something from my mom and grandparents. Yes, it was fun at first, experiencing life without my parents, feeling like I had no rules, but after awhile you learn to miss it.

You go to college, get a job, and you no longer can go home. The moments away from home turn into memories not made with your family. Christmas, Thanksgiving, your birthday, spent away at school.

My tale of two cities is not a good one. For I wish to be home, but also enjoying my time at school, this is difficult of course and I’m left with the question wether I should go to another college closer to them or continue to go to my school and miss more holidays and celebrations with them.

This decision becomes harder and harder, but for now they all know, my heart is with them, wherever I decide to go.

Fear No More

I’m scared of change.

I’m scared of falling behind, I’m scared of not knowing what I’m doing in life.

Most the time, we as people, have no idea what we are doing with our lives. We work so hard to achieve these goals and along the way we get lost.

My sophomore year of high school I thought I knew what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to be a doctor and change the world. But going through college I’ve realized being a doctor is not my passion, being a writer is. I have had to ask myself over and over again, “Are you driven by money or happiness?” and the answer is different every time. I know I will get worried faces from my family when they hear of my change. “You want to write stuff?” ,they’ll say, “Like stories? That makes no money.” But it’s more than stories.

I don’t want to struggle in life, but I also don’t want to waste my life away on something I don’t love. I’m afraid of change. Do I change my major after working towards another? Do I tell my family and feel like I’ve disappointed them? I don’t know.

But there comes a time in life when you have to step back and think about yourself. I now find myself asking, “What is good for Alyssa? What will make me happier?” This is hard to answer, but I need to fight the fear of falling behind and fight the fear of change and go for it because in the end I will have myself. And the career path and the major I choose is for me. Not anyone else. So don’t worry if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s okay to not know, just focus on yourself, motivate yourself, and ultimately, be happy.

But that perfect time would never come, my friend. You will wait and wait and wait and you will reach the end of your life with nothing left but regret.

The point here is to stop waiting for the perfect moment. Whatever you want, pursue it now. Take action towards your goals now, in this very instance because life is too short to wait for the perfect moment.

About Me

Alyssa Lamp. 20 Years Old. Florida Atlantic University. Student Alumni Association Assistant Director.

When people first meet me and they ask me, “Where are you from?” I never know what to answer. I was born in Davenport, Iowa; moved to Charleston, South Carolina; then moved to Saint Augustine, Florida and I now live in Boca Raton, Florida.

 

I love ham, writing, reading, sports, my family, and my boyfriend.