At a high school football game for breast cancer awareness, four South Carolina students spelled out “rape” on their chests in bright pink paint—and are now facing punishments for their actions.
The four boys of Westside High School Snapchatted a photo with the caption “What we do to Daniel.” The Friday game was against crosstown rival D.W. Daniel High for the Anderson district’s annual “Touchdown Against Cancer” game.
HuffPost reports two of the boys were sophomores and two were seniors. The director of external affairs of the school district told HuffPost that the boys were part of a larger group of students who spelled out “bump cancer” across their chests.
“Before the game started, the students essentially started playing scrabble by spelling out different words from ‘BUMP CANCER’ and taking pictures. One of those was ‘RAPE’,” the director told the HuffPost in an email. “The principal was informed later that night about what happened, and worked to identify the students.”
Anderson 5 Citizens for Quality Education, a non-partisan group of concerned parents, students, and citizens from District 5, made an extensive Facebook post the following day condemning the incident and calling for disciplinary action to be taken against the four boys.
Anderson 5 said it received several messages and emails from parents in District 5 about the “disturbing” event that happened at the football game.
“Needless to say, using the threat of rape, even as an analogy, is not behavior that any school or any parent should (or hopefully would) condone,” Anderson 5 wrote in the Facebook post. “Rape culture in high school and college is a real threat to many students… The assumption that these young men seem to have made is that their position and privilege allows them to make ‘jokes’ about rape as a viable threat.”
Anderson 5 said most parents understand the “stupidity” with which teenagers can act, and that the boys need to face immediate disciplinary action from the school administration in order to learn from these mistakes.
The Facebook post concluded with an email list of the high school’s administration. As of Wednesday afternoon, the post has been shared more than 300 times.
According to WYFF4 Greenville, District 5 Superintendent Tom Wilson said the four students and their parents met with school officials Monday and they have been punished. He did not specify how.