District: Upstate students disciplined after 'RAPE' photo surfac - FOX Carolina 21

District: Upstate students disciplined after 'RAPE' photo surfaces

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Westside High School (FOX Carolina/ File) Westside High School (FOX Carolina/ File)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Anderson School District 5 said students are being disciplined after a controversial photo surfaced following a Friday night football game.

District spokesperson Kyle Newton said they were made aware of the image Saturday morning, which features Westside High School students spelling out the word "RAPE" with letters painted on their chests.

A photo circulating on social media that was sent to FOX Carolina showed four male subjects with the letters painted in pink on their chests and the text "What we do to Daniel" below.

Newton said the Daniel versus Westside game was Cancer Awareness Night and the students were initially part of a group that spelled out "BUMP CANCER."

"It's kind of ironic that they went there painted for a good cause and because they didn't think through everything this happened," said Anderson District Five Superintendent, Tom Wilson.

Newton said school leaders are reminding students and staff that pictures shared through text messages and social media can cause long-term consequences.

"This is what can happen to a situation where students made a bad decision but once it gets on social media, it gets ramped up and it really spreads like wildfire," Superintendent Wilson said. "The four have been dealt with. And they're very remorseful, their parents understand that their intent was not to offend."

Experts also weighed-in and said this is not something that should be taken lightly.

"The fact that rape jokes and those types of things are tolerated in many ways and the fact that students would feel confident or safe enough to do something like that at a family-friendly high school football game also speaks volumes to the way that these teenage boys think about it," said Shauna Galloway-Williams, Director of the Julie Valentine Center in Greenville.

The students, two seniors and two sophomores, are being disciplined accordingly, Newton said.

"These are four of the best students, academically, behavioral-wise and they just made a bad decision," Wilson said.

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