It’s all over the news. Two high school football players in Ohio were found guilty of kidnapping and raping a sophomore girl.
It was their fault; it was her fault; it was someone’s parents’ fault; it was the coach’s fault for letting a party with alcohol happen at his place; it was social media’s fault.
If this isn’t an opportunity to engage today’s high school or college students in critical thinking, ethical reasoning, problem solving, and social responsibility (key areas for success in a global world), I don’t know what is.
Because the case broke thanks to social media, why not use Web 2.0 resources to help students work through a class discussion or even major project on America’s so-called “rape culture”? If your school network allows it, ask students to log onto Twitter and search for all recent posts containing “stuebenville” to see what’s being said. Here are some other suggestions:
- “Big Red Players Accused,” an August 23, 2012 blog post from Alexandra Goddard, the social media watchdog who learned about the assault and took screenshots of the Twitter accounts of students involved
- “Blogger on Her Findings…,” a January 3, 2013 blog post from CNN about Ms. Goddard
- “Why Did Steubenville Teens Rape?” a March 20, 2013 video from FOX News about what parents need to teach their children about sexual consent
- “Henry Rollins on the Steubenville Rape Verdict,” a March 18, 2013 LA Weekly blog from punk rocker Henry Rollins where he reflects on “a failure on many levels”
- “Stop Calling Rape Victims ‘Someone’s Daughter,” a March 19, 2013 blog post from Anne Theriault for Huffington Post Canada
- A Needed Response,” a YouTube video explaining what a guy should do when a drunk girl passes out on his sofa
With any source that allows comments, ask students to browse through reactions. What do they say about our culture, the audience of that particular site / feed, or ways to address the problem of rape in the U.S.?
Students might even create a display for the school library, like the one pictured below from Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado — Colorado Springs.