Students and parents at Windsor High School are outraged after a Wyoming police officer doing an Internet safety presentation at the school scrutinized individual students’ MySpace pages, calling the students “slutty” and saying photos on their sites invited sexual predators.
The officer, John F. Gay III of the Cheyenne Police Department, picked out six or seven Windsor High School students’ MySpace page and began to criticize photos, comments and other content until one student left the room crying
“He told the entire student body that he had shared her info with a sexual predator in prison,” said Ty Nordic, whose daughter Shaylah Nordic’s MySpace page was put on display.
Nordic said Gay then told the student body that the predator said he would masturbate to her picture.
I so love the last sentence. As if this girl was inviting violence, and would have it coming to her.
Amanda Marcotte comments:
The lesson learned here is that it’s hard to know when you’re going too far when you started out on the wrong path. Calling teenage girls “slutty”, mocking their MySpace pages, and generally sexually harassing them by walking them through fantasies about stalking and rape in front of crowds is inevitable when you start with the premise that teenage girl sexuality is such a social problem that it requires “scaring straight” to begin with. I’m not suggesting that it’s wise for teenage girls to pose for pictures in their underwear and put that online, of course. But if you start with the premise that they have a right to their sexuality, then it will be a lot easier to talk to them. Because then you can see what they’re trying to do---which is largely about expressing and exploring sexuality with the sense of control that the internet can give you---and perhaps give them guidance on how to reach their goals more effectively and with more safety.
Far more dirty than any picture on this girl's MySpace page are the thoughts that went through that cop's mind when he saw them. Far more responsible are Amanda's idea that we grant teenagers a certain respect and, yes, a right to their sexuality, offering them appropriate and helpful advice on integrating it in to their lives, rather than punish them for being "slutty".