Oak Park Student Suspended Over List Of Girls
UPDATED 01/19/11 9:05 a.m.
OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) – A student at Oak Park-River Forest High School ranked 50 girls on a list and posted humiliating information about them on Facebook.
Now, as CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman reports, the high school girls are fighting back. They have started their own Facebook forum where people can learn from what happened.
In the movie “Social Network,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rates college co-eds. Something similar, and more sinister, happened at the west suburban high school.
The male student was suspended after distributing the list, which ranked the girls based on their physical appearance and promiscuity, among other descriptions. The student also wrote about each of the girls he ranked, with descriptions they found thoroughly offensive.
The descriptions included “racial slurs, hateful comments, comments on alleged promiscuity,” said student Haley Rea.
Rea and her friend, Julia Levy, were both on the list.
“When you know that many people are reading some really personal things about you, it’s going to affect you some way,” Levy said.
Rea and Levy said some people supported the student who created the list.
“Hundreds of students cheered him on,” Rea said.
“They didn’t see the just fundamental wrong, and the sexism and racism of it, and the misogyny of it,” Levy said.
A concerned mother contacted the media about the list, saying it was distributed by a teen via Facebook and paper copies throughout the school. The woman, who did not want to be named, said the school has not had an appropriate response and is not returning phone calls.
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She believes this is the third year the same student has created the list. The student has gotten in trouble for the list previously, according to a schoolmate.
“He’d already been expelled for it one year – his freshman year – and now he’s doing it again, so I don’t know what he’s doing,” said Oak Park-River Forest student Niles Sykes.
The list ranks and names the girls, such as “New Queen,” “Fallen Angel,” “Blond Bombshell” and “The Hangover” — then goes on to describe the teen’s physical appearance and promiscuity.
In a letter on its website, the school’s principal wrote, “The school does not tolerate bullying, slurs, sexual harassment or demeaning behavior.
The student is subject to a disciplinary review, and faces possible expulsion over the list.
Meanwhile, Rea and Levy now hope to highlight the wrong of the list, and not just for the boy who started it.
“It’s so much bigger than him,” Levy said, calling it a societal problem.
The girls have begun their own Facebook page, titled “Unlisted.”
“It’s kind of a pun on the list that he made,” Rea said, “to show we’re not defined by a list,” added Levy.
One member of the forum wrote, “Ladies it’s time to go national.”
If there is one message the girls want to get across it is “that these attitudes are not OK and shouldn’t be tolerated,” Levy said.
The girls are also having meetings, and would like to see sessions on campus featuring strong male role models.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.