Childrearing

Why The Federal Ruling On High-Schoolers Posting ‘Sexy’ Lollipop Photos Is Good For Girls’ Sexuality

By  | 

Awhile back, two high school girls aged 15 and 16 respectively, made some poor decisions like many teenagers do. They snapped photographs of themselves posing humorously and suggestively with phallic-shaped lollipops. They then posted the pictures on various social media sites. Although the photographs were taken in the summer, the images were brought to the school administration’s attention who then sought it right to suspend the girls, bar them from extracurricular activities, as well as force them to apologize to their male coaches and undergo counseling for their actions.

A federal judge has ruled that the punishment to the girls violated their First Amendment rights. But his ruling also protects the sexual exploration, as well as the sexual footing, of young girls.

USA Today reports that the school acted in the best interest for their reputation:

Smith-Green Community School Corp. argued that the suspension was warranted because “the photographs were inappropriate, and that by posing for them, and posting them on the internet, the students were reflecting discredit upon the school.”

It was undoubtedly not wise for the two girls to share the images via the interwebs, but the school’s willingness to punish the girls so extensively for goofing around about sex displays a full force attack on budding female sexuality. I find it difficult to believe that had young boys taken such images during the summertime, not during school hours, and using their own online accounts, the district would have reacted so harshly. Make no mistake, efforts like these to control and contain the sexuality of girls are deeply rooted in archaic notions about girls and sex — that girls should exhibit little to no interest in contrast to their male counterparts.

No parent, I would hope, would want their teenage daughter putting sexy images of herself on the web. But on that same note, what parent would want her to be forced to apologize for being sexual in front of her all-male coaches like these young ladies had to do? Humiliating young girls for having any sort of sexuality and shaming them in front of an all-male board reeks of blatant sexism and a needless abuse of power.

Girls’ sexuality is not to be policed by some higher administration, nor should it be used as fodder to blame “discredit” on an institution.

What these two girls decided to do with these silly images was juvenile, and unfortunately with social media, potentially hazardous. But let that be an issue for the girls and their families to contend with, not our schools.