For a number of years, there were contests at Mount Si High School. Apparently these were unofficial contests and I have read that there were contests created by some of the boys of some of the girls and also contests created by some of the girls of some of the boys. The contests were also known as May Madness.
The contests were done by creating number of brackets and various girls or various boys were pitted against each other. Each period of time that went on, one of the two persons per bracket was chosen and moved on to compete against another person who had also won a bracket. The process continued until there was a single winner.
Various schools have had such contests of girls of their own school, but at times two or more schools created a contest with girls from a variety of schools or two schools. Supposedly at one point, Mount Si competed against or had in its contest girls of Mount Ranier High School.
In 2014 or so, a young lady began to feel that the contests were hurtful to her or others. She and some others created some t-shirts that said Stay above the Madness. According to some news articles, in previous years, girls who had complained often found that they were placed into the contest.
In 2014, there were complaints by girls or their parents. By 2015, the school administration cracked down severely by threatening any students with expulsion for “participating” in the contest by voting for the girls in it, or perhaps, viewing it.
It seems likely that the contest as it had existed is gone. I am not sure if shutting down the contest is constitutional, but I am not in a position to make a strong argument that the school does or does not have the authority to shut it down per the constitution.
One question to be asked if whether or not the contest, in its older form or newer possible forms, is a form of art, creativity and art appreciation. There are a variety of studies on the positive health effects of art creation and art appreciation. The boys and some of the girls were participating in art and art appreciation. Should that be shut down completely or redirected so as to not hurt other people?
Now, I don’t know if it was morally and constitutionally sound to shut down the contests. I have strong doubts that it was constitutionally sound. However, even if it was “constitutionally sound” it would remain good for the school to educate the students that there is a value in art creation, art appreciation and that taking and sharing photos of the girls can be a form of meaningful art. The whole topic is one that the school is suppressing . . . and I believe the school should give guidance to “it” (girl-art-creation and girl-art-appreciation) so that it is done in ways that don’t hurt people.
Meanwhile, while shutting down a contest that has fun and creates meaning for some boys and a way to be artistic and creative . . . lots of kids in high school go without receiving arts appreciation education . . . lots of kids never learn in school that art in various ways can and should be a meaningful and helpful part of their lives . . . and that, if art is going to be a part of it, that photos of cute people can be a part of it . . .
And . . .
“The United States is the fattest country in the world,” said Geoffrey Godbey, professor emeritus of recreation, park and tourism management, Penn State. “The amount of exercise Americans get has become a major concern.”
I can partly commiserate with girls who felt bad. I am not sure what a good solution may be, if any, or if any solution is needed other than the shutting down of the contest, which has probably already happened conclusively.
God bless and help any of the girls who feel bad or have felt bad!