The bracket was created by a small group of students from both high schools and circulated on Instagram, according to school district Director of Communications Andrea Clark, where users were encouraged to vote for one girl in each pairing.
“We strongly condemn this behavior, which is damaging and disparaging to all young women in the freshmen classes of both schools, but also to all Fairfield students and indeed, all women,” principals Greg Hatzis, of Ludlowe, and Paul Cavanna, of Warde, said Tuesday in a message to parents.
“It is discouraging that not only did someone create this post, but other students ‘liked’ it, and this will be addressed. Our high schools are deeply committed to promoting respect for all students.”
Staff from both schools have opened an investigation to determine the involved parties.
“While some of the originators were identified, it is now believed that a third party perpetuated the post and created the voting mechanism,” the message said. “The students involved will be held accountable for their inappropriate actions. We share the disgust expressed by students, parents, and staff from both schools about this act.”
School officials are asking anyone with information about the relevant Instagram account to submit a report via the district’s TIPS system, and, if possible, for the tipster to include their contact information.
“Please understand that we have no power to have the account removed or disabled,” the message said. “This can only be done by the account holder. As the investigation continues, however, we will work with the families of the account holders to ensure these posts are removed.”
Parents were encouraged to talk to their children about the implications of bad decisions involving social media.
“We take this situation very seriously and commit to a thorough investigation,” the message said.