High School Pep Rally Bullies Pregnant Teen, Doesn’t Enthuse Anyone

prep ralleyThe big football game against your hated rival is a huge event for high schools. All the students and their parents show up to squeeze into the stands. Someone’s mascot is mocked or stolen. High school football legends are made. It’s like a teenage right of passage. But for two schools in Ohio, their big match was tainted by some seriously ugly behavior. Students at Perry High decided to hype up their crowd by making fun of a teen from the other school who quit the cheerleading squad to have a baby. It turns out that their stunt offended Perry High parents and students, instead of amusing them.

The students at Perry were playing their game against Massillon. It seemed to be well known that a former cheerleader for Massillon didn’t try out for the 2012 squad because she was pregnant. So what did the Perry High teens do to make fun of this girl and attempt to rouse the crowd? Senior boys from Perry dressed up as “pudgy cheerleaders” from Massillon and carried around baby dolls with them. The gag, pulled right out of Glee, was obviously made to embarrass the opposition and completely humiliate the girl in question.

There is one saving grace to this sad story though; the parents at Perry High were not amused. Instead of getting everyone to mock the other team, the immature and inappropriate prank didn’t work. Parents later told news outlets, ”That’s not cool. That’s not funny.” People showed real concern for the victim of the stunt, saying, ”If there was a student that was in the crowd that’s pregnant already, that’s horrifying. As if she’s not dealing with enough.”

The behavior of the senior boys from Perry was horrible and the school assured local media that the teens have been made to pay for their crimes. But the reaction to this story online might be even more upsetting than the thoughtlessness and idiocy of a couple dumb kids. Commenters on the Yahoo story about the incident all seemed more angry that anyone would defend a pregnant teen. The message boards are rife with comments like,

“In my day (class of ’89), there were very few teen pregnancies at my school. It was considered to be “an embarrassment” to get pregnant. Today, my same high school has a NURSERY for the kids with babies.”

Imagine the horror of helping teen moms to complete their education as well. Other commenters acted like bullying was just something people need to accept and get over.

“Guess what? High school is hard. It sucks, and people are mean to you. The End.”

This most be the type of person who looks at a horrible situation and shrugs their shoulders instead of trying to fix it. One last example should be familiar to every woman everywhere.

“Solution to pregnancy: keep your knees touching and your pants on.”

Because so many of the worlds problems would just be solved if women kept their legs together, amirite? Completely ignore that there’s normally two people involved in making a baby and that why that pregnant teen was being knocked, the boy she slept with wasn’t mentioned at all.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that we’re raising teens to think it’s okay to bully and mock other students at pep rallies, since we have so many adults who are happy to do the same thing online. And for what it’s worth, I think we should add that it’s possible to educate young people about the difficulties of teen pregnancy without ridiculing or mocking young mothers. I have to echo the Perry High parent here, it’s not like that girl isn’t already dealing with enough.

(Photo: Stephen Coburn/Shutterstock)

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  • C.J.

    That’s terrible. Nobody should ever be bullied for any reason. Just because the teenage girl made a mistake doesn’t mean she doesn’t have feelings. It’s not like teenage pregnancy is a new thing. Years ago people just didn’t talk about it and hid it.

  • Amanda Low

    I think you make a really important point about the baby’s father. I hate how girls are always criticized so intensely and it’s so much easier to make fun of a pregnant woman because of her obvious “condition,” yet the boy responsible is always off the hook. And I especially hate the “keep your legs together” assertion — as if she was the instigator.

  • MMMGood

    If you’re going to post a story, please make sure to get your facts straight. First of all, the boys didn’t “Carry around baby dolls with them”. One 17 year old student grabbed a baby doll from the Health Dept. right before the pep rally. Teachers realized what was going on just a few minutes into the pep rally and confiscated the doll, but not before someone took a picture. This is being Blown way out of proportion. Social media has a tendency to do that these days…10 years ago, this would have never been news. Nothing bad was said about the girl, and names were not mentioned. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing for him to do, but please keep in mind he’s a 17 year old boy; they can be immature. Why is it NOT ok for him to immature, but it’s ok for a teenage girl to get pregnant?

    • kathleen

      I think it is also important for Ms. Cross to include in her post the information about this occurring at a pep rally, which is a pretty closed environment. From the way that it was written, it sounded like this occurred at the game itself, which has a much wider audience and may include the pregnant girl herself. The only mention of the pep rally is in the title, and I have to confess that since Mommyish titles often have little to do with the posts themselves, I don’t pay much attention to them.

      Plus, as you said, the stunt was pretty quickly stopped by school officials.

    • quinn

      It still isn’t right, but that makes it MUCH different. I imagined it was at the game too.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisCoffeeMama Chris Taylor

    I was a pregnant high school senior. What you said was right. No one should be applauded for getting preggers in high school, nor should they get made fun of at the football games. And the boy should be held with exactly the amount of responcibility we are going to place on the girl’s sholders.
    BTW she is 14 now & we are doing great, thanks. :)