Contest That Ranks Girls Stirs Up Controversy At Issaquah High School in Washington State
Officials at a Washington state high school are claiming they are “powerless” in halting a game that ranks female students based on their looks, clothing, and overall physical appearance.
For the past five years, boys at Issaquah High School – a small school just south of Seattle – have been ranking girls in a contest known as “May Madness” – a term presumably meant to resemble the popular NCAA men’s basketball tournament “March Madness.”
And although school officials have called the contest dangerous, offensive, and a self-esteem killer, they’re also saying they have no ability to stop it from occurring.
Most problematic, according to officials, is that the contest isn’t being run on school grounds – thus limiting the school’s scope of jurisdiction.
“These are pretty smart folks behind this -- not doing it on campus. They know their first amendment rights,” said a school district spokeswoman speaking on condition of anonymity. “They're very quiet about who it is and the group behind it.”
Last year, police threatened to arrest organizers because people were posting offensive comments under other people’s names – a crime in Washington state.
In lieu of such an obstacle, organizers have buckled down to make the website less accessible to outside groups – making the contest even harder to stop.
“Almost every teenage girl has self-esteem issues and doing something like this is absolutely ridiculous,” said one female student.