Hidden Scars

Heat a Junior, Roast a Senior Day must be stopped


Ella Brown

A student poses behind an image of a draft for a tweet.

As I sat in the cafeteria, I could feel the eyes of my peers burning into my soul. A Tweet had been posted mocking my recent relationship with two boys. The whispers carried from ear to ear, traveling faster than I could. My body moved, but I was numb. I reached the bathroom just in time. Hiding behind the stall door, my facade fell off. A stream of hot tears flowed down my red cheeks. I was vulnerability in the form of a weak girl, cradling her body, hunched over in deep, emotional pain, shaking with each cry that escaped her mouth. 10 hours later, I self harmed for the first time in four months; I sank to the lowest I had ever been. This was the result of my classmates, my peers hiding behind their screens, recklessly taunting a young, vulnerable girl and the choices she had made. This was the result of a tradition that has turned into a hostile battle, singling out students on a public platform. This was the result of Heat a Junior, Roast a Senior Day, and it needs to be stopped for the sake of the mental health of students throughout school.

On the Wednesday before Homecoming, the same day as the Powder Puff game, bullies and bystanders turn to Twitter for Heat a Junior, Roast a Senior Day. Juniors are supposed to poke fun at the seniors and vice versa. The Twitter war is intended to be lighthearted, playful banter before the Powder Puff game. However, some tweets are taken too far, causing much more damage than the intended good-natured fun. 

“I’ve seen a couple tweets that were friends just joking around, but last year there was a lot that were very rude and unnecessary,” senior Emmi Stoehner said. “And a lot of those kids didn’t even get in trouble.” 

The administration’s hands are tied due to jurisdiction issues. Freedom of speech, protected under the First Amendment, is a difficult line to follow. It is very difficult to punish students who send hateful tweets outside of school hours, however, students who publish tweets on school grounds and disrupt class time can be penalized.

“If [a tweet] was posted during the school day, and it was inappropriate or harassing, we will deal with it,” assistant principal Ed Dreyer said. “We have to teach students math, we have to teach them science, but we don’t have to allow them to come to the Homecoming dance. We don’t have to let kids do extras.”

As Wednesday approaches, I encourage juniors and seniors to think before they post. Not all battles are fought between two people, and not all scars are visible.