The 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.