In anti-girl rant, OPRF student captured on video

School issues new statement on student who 'ranked' female classmates

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

A male student at Oak Park and River Forest High School, believed to have created a list ranking girls on their physical appearance and sexual experience, has been identified and will face "appropriate consequences" that could include expulsion. According to a source close to the school, this is not the first such incident involving this particular student.

The list, discovered by school officials last Friday, was circulated in printed copies around the building by the student and on Facebook. OPRF will not publicly identify the student, only saying that he is a male. The list ranked 50 female students, mostly juniors, on how they look and on alleged sexual experience. A parent of one of the girls filed a complaint with Oak Park police on Monday. Cmdr. LaDon Reynolds of the Investigations Division said police are still investigating the matter but a disorderly conduct report has been completed. Reynolds said police were made aware of the list last Friday. He stressed that this incident was primarily a school matter but the police are working with the school and parents during the investigation.

This is the second time in the last two years that such a list has surfaced at OPRF.

In spring 2009, a male student created a "Class of 2012: Top 45" list of freshman girls. The female students were named and ranked by their appearance, including details about body features, along with other derogatory comments. The student who created it was expelled for a period of time and later allowed to return to school, according to the source who wished to remain anonymous.

Kay Foran, the school's spokesperson, would not confirm if the same male student created both lists. But the source, an OPRF parent but not of any of the girls ranked, said it was the same student. That student has not been allowed back in school after this recent list was discovered by staff last Friday. Foran did say the student would face appropriate consequences per the school's code of conduct. Cyber-bullying, bullying and sexual harassment are Class 3 infractions in the code of conduct. The range of consequences can include expulsion.

Foran said the school takes such infractions, including the creation of the list, "very, very seriously" and called the conduct involved "totally unacceptable" as stated in the code of conduct.

The school did not contact police about the list, Foran said, but OPRF's school resource officers (SROs) — who are also Oak Park police officers — were made aware of this incident.

Reynolds said he reviewed the list and found it reprehensible. He adds that the list constitutes "disorderly conduct," which involves an action knowingly done to alarm or disturb another.

"At the very least, this has occurred," he said, adding that the investigation will help determine appropriate police action in this matter because it involves a juvenile offender.

Student caught on cell phone video

The male student was also recorded on a cell phone video by another student during lunch time last Friday in either the student center or cafeteria, delivering a public tirade about women having too much power. Foran said one of the deans was given a copy of the video. School staff, she said, became aware of the list, found several copies and confiscated them. The student was identified later in the day Friday. The school also contacted the families of the girls named and made counselors available to talk with them.

"The parents of the students affected were contacted, and we continued conversations with them and other students," Foran said. "We're always open to that and are acutely aware of the need to do that for those students."

Foran added that the school is considering having a public forum to involve all students to talk about bullying and respecting one another — the school does have educational programs in place already addressing those issues, she noted.

As to what would motivate this student, or any other, to create such a list and distribute it in print or online, Foran noted that technology can be used for good and bad and that this was a situation involving the latter.

The anonymous source said the male student has some personal issues though that doesn't excuse the behavior. The source also talked with some of the girls on the list and reported that all are angry and embarrassed about being on it.

According to a rumor the parent heard, the offending student was already leaving for another school and his public rant on Friday might have been a final rebellious act. The girls spoken about are so embarrassed they don't even want their parents involved in the situation, the source said.

"It's that painful, that they don't even want their mothers to know about it."

'If you wouldn't say it to their face, don't say it online'

Margo Bristow, OPRF's substance abuse counselor who also deals with cyber-bullying among students, said kids like the male student don't understand the harm they can do to others online.

She alluded to the film The Social Network about the creation of Facebook. The popular site began with a similar list ranking Harvard female students, which was also highlighted in the film. Bristow doesn't think the student was influenced by the film but students like him tend to be more bold online than in person.

"It's happening because kids don't have filters," she said. "They don't see it as bullying because to them it's tongue-in-cheek, and a joke, until someone gets hurt.

"You don't see a physical reaction or visceral feeling when someone is hurt," she added. "I always tell them: 'If you wouldn't say it to their face, don't say it online.'"

Bristow gives presentations on cyber-bullying to freshmen boys and girls who take mandatory social behavior classes at OPRF. One issue that the list highlights is the dehumanization of women and objectifying them. That issue also comes up in Bristow's classroom talks and counseling.

The offending student likely is influenced by certain music that sexually objectifies women, said Bristow, stressing that not all kids have this mindset, and those who do typically get noticed. She said objectification is more a symptom of the culture than the schools.

"It's women being sexualized and not seen as an individual. They're reduced to a body or an action. It's normal for them," she said of those with that mindset.

More education, especially from home, can help address the issue, she said.

Contact:
Email: tdean@wjinc.com

Reader Comments

44 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Average White Guy  

Posted: April 28th, 2012 5:21 PM

VIOLET AURA WAS RIGHT !!!!

OP female student from Oak Park  

Posted: April 28th, 2012 2:57 PM

Though it is over a year later, here's an update on the creator of "The List". Not only did he not get in any legal trouble, but the pig has walked away from this scandal and has been praised by Gov. Quinn. http://twitter.com/#!/GovernorQuinn/statuses/185784655667150848 ^That is a picture of our governor and the kid responsible for tormenting, bullying, and objectifying OPRF's females. Needles to say, justice has NOT been served.

Kid From Op  

Posted: January 21st, 2011 9:54 PM

I acctually thought the list was hilarious. All the press thats getting involved and blowing up this situation is just giving the young man who wrote this list soo many job opportunity. Trust me i spoke to him recently and read his emails, so many blogs and newspapers are willing to hire him because of his creative,funky thoughts. Just saying =D

OP student from Oak Park  

Posted: January 21st, 2011 11:18 AM

Wow its quite funny actually that everyone is making such a big deal of this, poor bastard.

OP student  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 11:41 PM

@violet aura you dont know what your talking about

My Take  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 9:23 PM

I'm thinking this teen is a fan of Mr. Skin, aka Jim McBride (OPRF Class of 1981).

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 2:56 PM

OMG!!! I just went on Youtube to see if this winner's rant was posted and guess what? JAY LENO commented on it last night in his monologue! Talk about freaky... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0URD-J0W7w

OP Resident  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 9:35 PM

A kiss..a kiss when was your last real kiss. On I forgot, you don't do that.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 8:50 PM

Methinks thou art pwned. The truth is that this is far too serious an issue to walk on eggshells. End of story.

anonymousOPstudent  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 8:29 PM

@Violet Aura. yes i am a student at OPRF, whether your choose to believe that or not is up to you. I do not wish to continue along in your game of snarky remarks though, so I'm not going to post a response to the rest of your comment.

OP Resident  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 7:37 PM

You are so perceptive anonymousOPstudent. The adult bloggers are so into blowing gas it is certain they are lacking intimate experiences. Such a foul smell, they live in their lonely cloud. Oh look at that? It's a kitty! Oh how vain, these mortals die unnoticed. They smell the same live or dead.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 6:57 PM

You are REALLY an OPRF student? Hmm...First of all, how does one "listen" on the Internets? I read comments but that doesn't mean that I will concede a point that I find ridiculous. Setting an example for the kiddies does not mean being a vanilla mamby-pamby centrist like "they" in DC are encouraging us to be. But I will join you in a round of kumbaya milord if it would make you feel better...:)

anonymousOPstudent  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 5:09 PM

How about we stop arguing online and actually do something. Right now all of these "adults" are not setting a great example for kids. All I learn from reading this and from reading the comments in the newspaper is that we should make sure everyone hears our opinion and not to even bother listening to others. Perhaps its not the music, or the school, but the examples being set to not be considerate to everyone around us.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 12:20 PM

If my theory is correct, the time has come to stop this nonsense. Even if it is being done out of misguided compassion, the end result is that these students know they can get away with misogynistic, racist behavior. If you have ever gone by the OP Main Library after OPRF gets out, you may be in for quite a shock. I have seen kids fighting in the park while other kids egg them on. It is the kind of thing that didn't go down in the early '80s. This needs to STOP today.

My daughter's on the list from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 11:28 AM

The first time this boy made his OPRF "list" my wife and I used it as an extreme example of "boys" in society. Prior to this, our daughter, in our opinion, was a bit naive - as she should be at 14. This time? Same thing. A friend noted tech-equivalent, from our youth, of bathroom graffiti. Agreed. Some feelings hurt? Yes. Helpful "learning experience" for us? Yes. Is the school dealing with it? Yes. Is it best to let it go? IMO, yes. File a police report? No. Case closed and move on? Yes.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 10:56 AM

To further clarify: if this student is White and making anti-Black statements and sexist statements and still allowed to attend OPRF I will be more surprised than if he is a teen of color. There has been much talk of the higher suspension rates among minority students, not taking into account whether or not they did acts worthy of suspension, thereby deserving such punishment! I don't care if the ratio of suspensions/expulsions are higher Black to White if they are being treated the same.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 10:53 AM

@Violet's biggest fan: Okay, since you asked for my "theory," I will go there. I wouldn't be surprised if this student is not White. Before you hyperventilate and accuse me of racism, what I mean by this is that the student seems as if he is being given a pass and treated with kid gloves, especially with our uber-liberal community that frowns on racist statements. Why has he been allowed to be a repeat offender? Is OPRF afraid to suspend or expel non-Whites these days due to the statistics?

OP Dad  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 10:33 AM

Completely agree with Donna. The "list" is littered with ethnic, racial, religious and gender-based criticisms that should be extremely offensive to anyone with any form of moral compass. The Illinois Hate Crimes statute addresses this kind of activity quite directly, and parents need to act by filing complaints with OP and RF police. If criminal charges aren't pursued, don't be surprised if another list surfaces next year.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 10:31 AM

@Violet is Ridiculous: Yes, I use blanket statements because I am limited in space here. I leave it to the free-thinkers to figure out that I am generalizing. You can probably guess that I do not listen to that "genre" (LMAO) of music. Here is something do, from time to time, to amuse myself: I crank up the Google and look up the #1 song of the week and find the lyrics. They are usually incredibly wretched and I wouldn't be surprised if (c)rap wasn't created to lower the collection vibration...

Gloria from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 10:11 AM

Something absolutely needs to be done about this young man. He seems to have some real anger issues towards women. If this is not dealt with now, who knows what he will be capable of as an adult.

Donna Schuler from River Forest  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 9:11 AM

I see this as a case where the police definitely need to take action. OPRF noted that there was a limit to what the school can do other than expulsion and that parents of the victims should file complaints with the police. I hope the parents follow up on this recommendation. This young man seems to have sociopathic tendencies which need to be attended to sooner rather than later. The courts are the place to do this as they can require evaluation and remediation.

Violet's biggest fan  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 1:32 AM

Can someone please translate this bit of gibberish to the English language for me? Also we'd love to hear your "theories" "I read the story in the Sun-Times today and it was heartening to see that a boy on the basketball team through some files on the girls back at the sexist boy generating this crap. Third time offender? Wussup, OPRF? Why is he getting such a pass? I have a few "theories" but don't want to elaborate just yet. "

Violet is ridiculous  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 1:27 AM

You post some blisteringly ignorant and silly stuff from your paranoid alternate reality, but the following bit of generalizing takes the cake: "I call it (c)rap music because it is garbage, filth, and maggot-infested idiocy" Look, there are musicians of all genres guilty of misogyny, racism, and general stupidity, but to blanket dismiss the most important development in popular music in the last 20 years with no knowledge of it at all is simply ignorant. Spare us your hateful rhetoric.

Mom2 from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 11:52 PM

All the kids know who did this from his public rant. They report that this is the third time he has done a ranking (first was at Brooks), he was expelled previously, but was allowed back at OPRF. Yet he still ended up on an in-school suspension this term due to continued bad behavior. Clearly he doesn't care about any school consequences. I hope all the parents file police reports and that he'll be charged as an adult so that the punishment actually means something

Nancy from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 9:39 PM

Yeah, I don't know. The kid (sorry) needs to be introduced to some alternative aspirations ...clearly this human is defective. ...It's freezing out!!!

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 9:36 PM

Is the Post Fairy erasing some of my posts? I SAID that many posters on this site appear to be on a Prozac drip because nothing seems to faze them. This is a horrible situation to the young women who had to be humilated by a guy who seems to have a lot of anger towards women, according to some of his other comments. Your minimizing of it makes me think that you may believe that porn is the norm and everyone who doesn't get with the program is a hysterical prude...

Henny Penny from England  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 8:29 PM

The sky must be falling down.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 6:29 PM

Hey Nicky: Let me help you with this: the year is 2011, I call it (c)rap music because it is garbage, filth, and maggot-infested idiocy, and if it's more tragic to you that (c)rap is dissed than 50 girls were exposed and disrespected in public, then I don't know what to say. All I know is that what I find "sad" is that these kids have so few choices for music nowadays compared to Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles and other REAL artists who UPLIFTED the soul rather than degrading it.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 6:22 PM

@Westside2: Yeah, because OP is ENLIGHTENED and advocates treating all people with respect. I took a little gander at some crime stats in West Pullman (if that is where you are from): http://outside.in/west-pullman-chicago-il/tags/crime If objectifying women is no big deal to you, then please do not come here with that mess or send your kids to OPRF with that attitude.

Nick H. from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 6:20 PM

how sad - a paid substance abuse counselor at OPRF is blaming the music this kid listens to. What year is this?

oprf students mom from op  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:47 PM

I have actually seen a copy of the list. It is offensive at best. It is based off rumor and heresay. A similar list was created when this child was at Brooks. Nothing happened. Unfortunately, this child's energy is being channeled in appropriate directions, his writing is (IGNORING THE CONTENT) is that of a bright child. Disappointing to say the least. I blame his parents and the school system. However, to blame this on music? really? how archaic can we be? why don't we burn books?

A former OPRF student  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:23 PM

I'm disappointed that much of this discussion is focused on technology use - and irrelevantly so. The list was posted in the school as well as online; such lists had been made prior to the existence of the Facebook movie; the kid's misogynistic rant, much more relevant, gets hardly as much discussion. Strikes me that this is because Facebook is part of the oft-vilified new media, while the sexism that's the real issue is an old problem that a lot of people would rather ignore. Not good, OPRF.

oprf parent  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:17 PM

westside2, I bet you'd consider it a big deal if it were YOUR daughter on the list. Of course it's a big deal...OP or anywhere.

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:12 PM

I have no choice but to defend my sex. Men don't watch the Miss America, Miss Universe, etc. Women are the participants and the target audience for these shows. If they were dependent for male audiences, the shows would be showing "Man Up" events like the Dirtiest Job in the World or Sharks.

OP Parent  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:11 PM

If it had been handled properly the first time, it would be less likely to happen again. Recently, at Julian Middle School, some children had computer generated labels put on their back with various insults. The administration was told and was anything done? Noooooo, they could not possibly find out who was the responsible party. It was not handled and will happen again. It's called being empowered. This must be handled better by school and home.

westside2 from West Pullman  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 3:31 PM

only in oak park would this be such a big deal

Really  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 3:06 PM

The kid who allegedly made the list was forced to transfer to another school for the second semester because of disciplinary reasons. OPRF allowed the kid to stay in school, that friday was his last day at OPRF, expulsion will do nothing. Nice try OPRF.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 12:05 PM

UGH! It should read "THREW" some files...I need to back away from the Internet. My spelling is being influenced by a myriad of people...

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 12:03 PM

I read the story in the Sun-Times today and it was heartening to see that a boy on the basketball team through some files on the girls back at the sexist boy generating this crap. Third time offender? Wussup, OPRF? Why is he getting such a pass? I have a few "theories" but don't want to elaborate just yet. Suffice it to say that I think Adele and I may be on the same page...;)

OP Dad  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 11:53 AM

In addition to school authorities, I hope that OP Police take appropriate action. As I understand the facts, this constitutes a Hate Crime under Illinois statute, under the categories of both gender and race. When committed on school property, it's a Class 3 felony for a first offense, punishable by 2-5 years. There are laws on the books to protect against this kind of harassment, and those laws need to be enforced.

Lori  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 10:02 AM

What can you expect when we still have "beauty" pageants, People's Sexiest Men, Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. We're bombarded through the media, which tells us that it's OK to have these lists, and to judge people based on physical attributes.

Assumptions  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 9:19 AM

Interesting how Adele assumed this student came through District 97. And how the Multicultural Dept. was supposed to have "cured" him of misbehaviors. Ever visited the Multicultural Center, Adele?

adele from oak park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:19 AM

Didn't this student and his supporters receive diversity education through the Multicultural Dept in middle school?

OP Mom  

Posted: January 17th, 2011 10:05 PM

I heard from a neighbor and then on the news that this is the 3rd time this child has done this. I really hope the administration gets their act together and properly punishes this behavior and his parents and the parents of all of the children sit down with them to discuss why this is not ok.

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