On Thursday, September 21st, the school released information explaining that underclassmen boys have been taking inappropriate photos of girls during the school day. Not only were they taking pictures of buttocks and breasts, they were rating them—sometimes including the student’s name, and sending them around. Physical ‘trading cards’ were also made with these items on them.
These boys’ complete lack of disrespect for their female peers and for their school shows once again: there is a long way to go in education about sexual harassment. These kids are aware that their actions are wrong, seeing as they tried to keep this trade a secret. The problem is their lack of respect for women and the encouragement of this behavior from their fellow peers. This is a clear violation of privacy for every single girl in the school. The punishment for these students has not been dolled out yet, but there is an obvious need for justice.
These actions are appalling and have outraged many BHS students and their families. This type of behavior makes students feel unsafe at school and unsure of what to do next. It feels weird going to school after realizing students have been taking nonconsensual photos of girls. We go to school to learn, but instead, we have been stalked and preyed on while doing so. The privacy of our bodies has been exposed and the ‘trading cards’ are absolutely degrading and inhumane. The girls at BHS are not something to be judged or objectified like this. We deserve better as women, and the kids who participated in this should be ashamed.
There is no room at BHS, or anywhere, for sexual harassment. My hope is that there are appropriate punishments for these students and time for them to reflect on these actions. The mindset of these kids needs to be changed immediately. This is the time for the community, in Bedford and at the school, to come together and stand against sexual harassment. No one should have to feel unsafe or uncomfortable coming to school because of their peers. No girl should have to change anything about herself in order to avoid this type of treatment. No person should be objectified.
An adjacent news article will be made outlining the facts and responses of the school and community so far.