B-CC Students Say Rankings List Discipline Wasn’t Enough
Students planning to do more to address ‘cultural toxicity’
B-CC High School
Photo by Ellyse Stauffer
Several Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (B-CC) students who say they were named in a list that ranked females based on their appearance say more needs to be done to resolve the issue.
“I don’t think (the administration) handled it well at all,” said B-CC senior Jane Corcoran, whose name was on the list. “Basically what admin did, in my honest opinion, by dismissing it and not giving the boys a strong punishment is saying, ‘Boys will be boys and that’s OK. We can’t get them in trouble for something immature guys do.’ ”
About 18 girls in the International Baccalaureate program were listed in a spreadsheet, ranked in order of physical attractiveness, Corcoran said, and a group of about 50 boys had maintained the list for a year before a female saw it open on a laptop during class two weeks ago. The list had been shared in a group chat, according to B-CC Principal Donna Redmond Jones.
While some students have said the list is a form of “freedom of speech” or common teenage boy behavior, Corcoran said it’s ignorant to devalue women.
Jones, who has condemned the list and said disciplinary action has been taken, was not available for comment Tuesday morning.
Several girls involved who declined to provide their names said one male student was the “ring leader” and organized the list. They said he received a brief in-school suspension and the dozens of others indirectly involved were not punished.
A school system spokesman said he is unaware of similar incidents in other Montgomery schools, but said it’s possible other rankings lists haven’t been turned in to school administration.
The school system’s student code of conduct outlines possible disciplinary actions for bullying that range from community service to expulsion. Bullying is defined as intentional verbal physical, written or electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by interfering with a student’s physical or psychological well-being.
“We understand people were offended and have concerns, but we have a student code of conduct to distribute punishments fairly based on what has happened, rather than based on the community reaction,” said Derek Turner, the spokesperson.
Corcoran said a meeting was convened after the list was brought to the attention of B-CC administration with the roughly 150 students involved in the IB program, designed for students who wish to pursue college-level courses in high school.
The meeting allowed the girls involved to share their feelings. The boys “sat and listened,” Corcoran said, but “it wasn’t good enough.”
“It was like seeing everything you are insecure about brought to you by someone else,” Corcoran said. “Putting a number on a girl like this is the same as any other slur — a homophobic or racial slur. It’s a way to degrade women.”