Holyoke High School Alumnae organizes protest over alleged sexual assault incident | News


HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–An alleged incident of sexual assault at Holyoke High School is sparking outcries from the Holyoke community and beyond. One former student is speaking out and is hoping others will join her.

The reports surfaced on Monday of an alleged incident of sexual assault. and one former Holyoke student told us she’s speaking up for those who cannot.

“Don’t tiptoe around a topic that should be screamed from the rooftops. Together we can provide a voice to those who have felt like they needed to remain silent,” said Elizabeth Bonilla-Fontanez, protest organizer.

For Bonilla-Fontanez, she’s taking action following an alleged incident of sexual assault at Holyoke High School.

We reached out to Holyoke Police Captain Matthew Moriarty, who confirmed there is an ongoing investigation involving the conduct of two juveniles. But was unable to provide any details.

For Bonilla-Fontanez, this hits especially close to home.

“For me, it kind of comes in phases being a victim of sexual assault myself…It goes from enraged to sad to we need to do something about this and that’s the point of this protest,” said Bonilla-Fontanez.

She told Western Mass News she is organizing a protest called “Empowered Women Empower Women,” on Friday morning across from Holyoke High School.

“This protest has a message. And it has a message for those who want to listen. For those who don’t want to wait until it happens to a loved one. This protest is to unite and to gather,” said Bonilla-Fontanez.

As a former Holyoke resident and student in the city’s public school system, Bonilla-Fontanez is calling on the community to join her in speaking out.

“Any type of assault, it hits close to home to anyone. especially being from that community and especially just hearing that these things are happening and nothing is being done about it…Once one person speaks up a lot of other people speak up,” said Bonilla-Fontanez.

The Holyoke school superintendent said student safety is of the utmost importance and the district is cooperating with the police investigation.

Meanwhile, the protest is scheduled to take place on Beech Street across from the high school Friday morning at 7:15.

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