Last Tuesday, an upset student removed a Bell Week poster reading “Edison girls don’t shave,” and has since drawn mixed attention from the student body.
Students were drawn to the issue when a 20-second video was posted on Twitter of student Isabelle Abbott (‘18) tearing down the poster. In the video she said, “This is not allowed. Girls shouldn’t have to shave themselves. Girls shouldn’t have to shave.”
Since the video has been posted, it has had over 200 retweets and over 400 favorites on Twitter. The video itself was not posted by Abbott, but by a friend.
“I had asked [ASB] to take [the poster] down first and one of the people said that they couldn’t because they couldn’t replace it,” said Abbott. “So I decided to rip it myself the next day, because I don’t think anyone should have to see that.”
Abbott did not directly talk to an Associated Student Body [ASB] member. Instead, she had two friends talk to an ASB member about it.
According to ASB Parliamentarian Lindsay Brown (’16), offensive posters are taken down and replaced if a student notifies supervision, the principal or an ASB member. In addition, Brown explained that posters go through an approval process by the Parliamentarian and Publicity committee to avoid creating offensive posters.
“We don’t intend for anything to be offensive. [The poster idea has] been okay with the Fountain Valley kids for many years,” said Brown. “I wish [Abbott] took more action in letting ASB know that the poster was offensive…we just want to please the kids.”
Students have responded both negatively and positively to Abbott’s actions.
“I don’t think that it’s allowed to just ruin [ASB/Senate’s] hard work,” said Vivian Le (‘18). “If she had a problem she should have voiced her complaint with ASB themselves; probably have more of an impact than just shouting that as people pass by.”
Others feel differently. They believe that by ripping down the poster, Abbott brought attention to other allegedly offensive posters.
“I honestly think that she did the right thing. She went to ASB and they didn’t do anything about it,” said Kristin Vo (‘18). “She took a stand when nobody did. I 100 percent support her.”
According to Senate member Vivian Dang (‘18), in response to Abbott, other students began removing posters.
“Because of [Abbott] other students started tearing down other posters and they accidentally damaged everybody else’s hard work,” said Dang. “We don’t actually support the message, and posters are just meant to be a fun way to show FV spirit, but I guess some people take it too seriously.”
As of now, Abbott has not received any consequences for her actions. She does note that ASB members have apologized to her for the poster.
“I knew that it meant that someone wasn’t happy with our work and they felt so bad that they took it upon themselves to take it down,” said Brown. “We [make/hang posters] this because we love the school and it’s upsetting that someone did this….it was a series of unfortunate events.”
—Katrya Ly and Kristie Hoang, Editors-in-Chief