An email from Mr. Juli to Shaker Heights High School

Editor’s Note: At noon yesterday, an anonymous Twitter handle posted brackets designed to rank the attractiveness of female students from all four grades at the high school. Principal Eric Juli immediately condemned the act in an email to all students at 2:47 p.m. The email appears below.

Good afternoon Shaker Heights High School students,

Today someone, or some people, posted a March Madness style bracket ranking young women in our school. We reported the account to Twitter and it has been removed. I’m glad the account is down, but many of you are still sharing screenshots of the brackets with each other. It’s not okay to share these screenshots. To the students who created the brackets, and to the students who are continuing to share them, what you have done and what you are doing is wrong. It’s disrespectful, it’s misogynistic, and it’s bullying. For those of you who created the poll, when I learn your identities, there will be consequences.

Ranking young women as sport is entirely unacceptable for so many reasons. To give validation to the idea, that somehow a woman’s worth and value is attached to her body, is unacceptable. To suggest that one woman is better than another based on body image at all is unacceptable. We have a school full of future leaders; scientists, performers, artists, teachers, principals, doctors, attorneys, politicians, makers, musicians, and on and on. Our students are young men, young women, transgender and non-binary. They are gay, straight, tall, and short, Black, Hispanic, white, Asian, and mixed race. Am I a good or bad principal or person based upon my body type? I don’t think so. It’s unacceptable in every imaginable way to express or to share that we value young women in our school based on their bodies. Posting this poll, and continuing to share this poll via screenshot is unacceptable. So STOP.

We need to do better as a school, and we need everyone to participate. This is the most recent example of bad decision making, but it isn’t the only one. How we treat people matters. I talk about it all the time in the Words of Wisdom. But listening to the words and then choosing to post or share this content isn’t okay. To all our young women at Shaker Heights High School, I’m sorry this post was created, posted, and shared. You matter, and we value you all unconditionally.

Let’s be better than this as a school. STOP giving energy to this disrespectful poll. STOP sharing it.

Mr. Juli

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