School cancels 'disgusting' 'best bum' competition after anger from parents
It's certainly not uncommon to open a high school yearbook and find a "most likely" or "best" section.
However, rather than "Most Likely to Be President" or "Best Bromance", one British school recently made the controversial decision to name the student with the "best bum".
This week, it emerged that group of 15 and 16-year-old teenagers in their final year at Highfields School in Derbyshire, England were asked to nominate which of their classmates had the best buttocks for their end of school yearbook. In addition, they were told to pick the "flirtiest" and "the best looking", among other titles.
The contest worked by getting nominations from pupils, before a panel of students created a shortlist and voted accordingly.
After a number of complaints, Highfields School has now suspended the competition, which also asked for nominations for "most likely to be a top model", "best personality" and "most likely to be a professional footballer".
The move disgusted parents who were reportedly left horrified by what they deemed the over-sexualisation of young children. Some were allegedly concerned that it would also encourage sexism and body hang-ups.
Mother-of-three Jane Gretton, whose youngest daughter, 15-year-old Bella, attends the school, said: "The form was handed out a week ago and I knew nothing about it until I noticed it had been left on the chair at home. It’s just another thing for children to be bullied by and children at that age a vulnerable enough, it encourages social hang-ups."
She continued: "It’s a very American idea, based around sexism and popularity that is encouraged by fraternities and proms. Here in the Uk we are a lot more inclusive of different people and this is completely the wrong message. The awards are completely inappropriate and sexualise the children. It’s judging people on looks and comparing them to other which could effect them for the rest of their lives, as they grow older."
Jane's two older children, Allistar, 20, and Scarlett, 18, also attended the school, but she and her husband Paul, 50, reportedly only recently laid eyes on the nomination form.
"We should be encouraging our children to be who they are, strong and independent," she continued. "My other children did so well at the school and in this situation the school has handled everything correctly when the issue was raised. I just hope other schools follow suit."
The mother claimed that she had received an email from head teacher Andrew Marsh that "being new to the school", he was unaware of the yearbook format and that the book would "not go ahead in its current format".
In a statement, posted on the school’s Twitter account, a spokesperson said: "To Year 11 parents and students – We are aware of the issue with our Yearbook nominations and any planning around the Yearbook has been suspended until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience."