About this #rapestow hashtag business

A few young near adults, most likely students at Cuyahoga Falls High School, have engaged in some social media activity that has “older” folks a bit concerned.

In the run-up to the big rivalry football game between two mediocre-to-bad teams in neighboring towns of Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, some youngsters have taken with great vigor to posting Tweets with the hashtag #rapestow. It rated a Twitter trend. A Twend, if you will.

Well, imagine the uproar that has erupted at Stow and among grown-ups everywhere.

Some of the kids (we assume it’s the kids) pushed back via Twitter, essentially saying, “Lighten up, old people, it’s just a joke — nobody’s actually raping anybody.”

Kids being kids, especially the teenage variety, like to push the envelope when it comes to what is considered acceptable behavior and language. I did it, you did, kids did it in the 1950s (remember rock ‘n’ roll?), even the cave-teens did it. Well, maybe not the cave-teens. They were too busy trying to avoid saber-toothed tigers.

But I digress.

The point being here is that sometimes in pushing the envelope we go too far.

Perhaps we have an example of the envelope tearing a bit here. The principals and administrators are in damage control mode now, trying to steer the students away from the hashtag war that has emerged out of this (now tags such as #trashfalls and the like are popping up).

The question of how, or if, to discipline these naughty Tweeters has come up. And administrators are in a bit of a pickle as to what, if anything, they can do to stop the offending Tweets. It’s a social medium, which has certain First Amendment protections, and it’s outside of school activity. Falls Superintendent Todd Nichols called it a “touchy” situation.

I guess the only thing to do is ask the kids, What if you or someone you loved were raped? Would this still be funny to you?


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