I had my second COVID-19 vaccine so that’s good. It was AstraZeneca and the second time was much better than the first. No side effects or issues, thankfully.

I’ve been taking care of myself so if you’re wondering why there’s been few posts or updates lately that’s why. I’m in the best place I’ve been in in a long time and I’m very protective of it.

A Missed Opportunity

A 17 year old Nova Scotia high school student, Kenzie Thornhill, was suspended recently after she posted a photo on SnapChat that showed another student’s shirt. The shirt’s caption read in part, “Tis the season to be rapey.”

It’s not clear why she was suspended from school. Once this incident was reported in the media the suspension was reversed but not before almost a hundred other students at her school walked out of class in a show of support.

On one hand the story is about a courageous young woman taking a stand against rape culture by standing up and reporting a fellow student was wearing a t-shirt that pokes fun at sexual violence. She was right that it was offensive and she was right to report it. On the other hand, the school was wrong in their response regarding the student wearing the shirt. He was simply told not to wear the shirt again while she was sent home with a baffling five day suspension.

What should have happened, if we’re serious about confronting rape culture and protecting students, is that he should have been reminded of the repercussions that would have followed had Kenzie named him in that post. It’s doubtful “it was just a joke” would make much of a difference when his employment opportunities in life dry up after high school. No one wants guys like that at their office, company, team, or organization.

Good for Kenzie for standing up!

Rethinking the Jordan Decision

In May the Supreme Court of Canada refused to consider the case of a Nova Scotia man who had a sexual assault charge against him dropped because it took too long to come to trial.

Jordan Michael Ellis, 34, was charged on May 30, 2017. A woman said he raped her when he took her to a remote country road in Annapolis County. His case was tossed when the trial judge, Alan Tufts of the Nova Scotia provincial court, agreed with a defence motion that his case took longer than 18 months to complete.

Just days after the Court of Appeal ruling on Ellis, another Nova Scotia man, Regan Brant Tolbert,had a sexual assault charge against him stayed because it had taken too long.

Meanwhile, the repeatedly delayed sexual assault trial of Michael Raymond Kobylanski in Nova Scotia has been delayed again, this time to January 2022.

In 1995, Kobylanski beat and sexually assaulted a 14 year old girl and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In December 2013, Kobylanski was acquitted on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

In March 2014, he was acquitted on charges of sexual assault and sexual interference.

The delayed case involves an assault that occurred at his home in north-end Halifax in 2015 against a 17-year-old girl. Kobylanski originally had a jury trial in 2017. The jury convicted him of common assault but deadlocked on the more serious charges. A retrial was ordered for later in 2017, then 2018, then 2020.

Now it’s 2022. Seven years after the assault took place the case “might” go to trial. For seven years a victim of a horrific crime has had to wait for her day in court and no one in our criminal justice system is showing concern for what this is doing to her or what it’s doing to our collective sense of justice.

Maybe we should come up with a reverse Jordan Decision so if an accused person delays their trial intentionally for years they reach a point when another delay is an automatic admission of guilt.