Daily Video

September 16, 2021

Daily News Lesson: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and other gymnasts on how FBI ‘betrayed’ them, ‘enabled’ Nassar


Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Some students may find it easier to read along with the transcript or turn on closed captions/CC.

Note that this story contains sensitive details about sexual abuse of gymnasts by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Educators may want to review the material closely before sharing with students. Educators may also want to share information about organizations such as RAINN, which offer information and counseling for those reporting sexual abuse. 

Summary: On September 15, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from four elite U.S. gymnasts about the FBI’s mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols criticized the agency and pressed lawmakers to demand further accountability for those who enabled Nassar.

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who are the gymnasts who testified before Congress and what are their backgrounds?
  • What was the message the gymnasts wanted to deliver to Congress?
  • When did doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse occur, according to this piece?
  • Why do the gymnasts believe the FBI investigators failed them?
  • How has the FBI begun to address the allegations made by the gymnasts?

Focus question: In her testimony, gymnast Aly Raisman says, “All we are asking for is that when a child goes into gymnastics, or goes to school … that they can be spared abuse.” What do you think are some things the schools, athletic organizations and others can do to stop instances of sexual abuse?

Media literacy: Do you think this piece provided enough information about what the gymnasts are alleging about the FBI’s mishandling of the Nassar case? What other details do you think would be important to know?

Additional resources:

  • To read the Department of Justice’s own report on the mishandling of the case, click here. A summary by the AP can be found here.
  • To learn more about sexual abuse in the United States and resources for those who may want or need to report abuse, visit RAINN.

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