Editor's note: Although Piedmont Patch normally does not published unsigned letters, we have withheld this writer's name on request. This was not an "anonymous" letter; the writer supplied her name and other details, and Patch has had several communications with her. The writer asked to have her name omitted from her letter because "I have personal connections to 'FSL' and those who participated in it, the administration, and those who plan to produce an informational assembly on this issue later in the year. This puts me in a delicate position from which it would be difficult to openly voice my opinion" if her name were published. Her age was also a factor in our decision to withhold her name.
Dear Parents, Teachers, Staff, Students and Concerned Citizens of Piedmont,
I am writing in regards to the recent revelations regarding the “Fantasy Slut League” at Piedmont High School. I am a senior girl at Piedmont High School. I read the email Principal Kitchens sent out on October 19th regarding “FSL” and I am writing for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the Administration’s email contained some factual inaccuracies. Secondly, the email is unnecessarily sensationalist. And thirdly, I am frustrated with the Administration's attempts to speak for the female population of Piedmont High School. I do not condone the infantile, immature, and insulting actions of those who created and participated in FSL, but I think students and parents deserve the truth as students have experienced it and the reality “on the ground” so to speak.
The Administration’s email is rife with factual errors. The email stated that, “Male students earn points for documented engagement in sexual activities with female students.” This is not true. Female students score the points for their “team” by engaging in any documented form of sexual act with any boy or girl which, through gossip, comes to be known by the boys. The boys who participate in FSL are thus not incentivized to coerce or force sexual acts with the females on their team in the same way that the email suggests.
Furthermore, the “acts” were not documented in the sense that they were videotaped or photographed as has been suggested by some. The word “documented” refers to the fact that the boys recorded common gossip on the page, amassing a sort of “gossip log.”
The email then went on to say that, “Participation often involved pressure/manipulation by older students that included alcohol to impair judgment/control and social demands to be popular, feel included and attractive to upper classmen.” The Administration suggests that this manipulative environment is the result of the coercive actions of the select few boys who participate in FSL.
The pressure younger students may feel to engage in activities with which they are not comfortable is part of and a product of every Piedmont student. To suggest otherwise is to attempt to sweep the truth of this issue under the rug. By shutting down FSL, by reprimanding these boys, the administration has not rid Piedmont of this harmful environment. This is a larger issue than just FSL and these boys do not deserve to be vilified with factual fallacy for an environment of which they are merely a small product.
To tie FSL to the school’s Date Rape Prevention Assembly is overt and needless sensationalism. FSL and other forms of gossip do not encourage rape. Rape is unconscionable, vile, and terrible. It is not the product of immature boys who partake in a glorified gossip group. By alluding to rape and FSL within the same email, the Administration has incited a needless firestorm of outraged parents who know only what they have been told in an email that contains factual inaccuracies and startling misrepresentations.
Lastly, I take issue with the way the email attempts to speak for girls just like me. I know that my name has been mentioned on the FSL page. It makes me uncomfortable, but it does not make me a “victim,” as the email labels me. I am not a victim because I know what FSL truly is. It is not a rape group, as the email, perhaps inadvertently, implies; it is a gossip page where Varsity Footballers talk about what happened last weekend and “who got with who.” I do not appreciate being labeled a “victim” by an administration that is not in possession or understanding of the facts.
The truth of the matter is that we live in a world that is frequently hostile to young girls and their sense of self-worth. FSL did not create this unfriendly world, this unfriendly world created FSL. FSL is merely evidence of a larger societal problem that we must, as a community, address. I hope that, in the future, the administration will reach out to the so-called “victims” before they decide to speak for, act for, and represent them. The administration desperately needs to facilitate discussion with their entire student body before they assess and act upon situations such as this.