LATHAM, N.Y. – Some high school students created a March Madness- style bracket to rank female students.
The incident started with a Twitter handle ‘SHS Bracketology' for Shaker High School. The organizers identified four girls in each grade to compete against one another and promised to unveil a winner on Saturday.
School officials said they were alerted to the competition Friday morning and have already spoken to several of the students who retweeted competition details. The school also sent out an e-mail to parents alerting them of the competition.
Shaker High School Principal Richard Murphy said he was "very disappointed" in his students.
"Any time that I can recognize Shaker students that are not behaving correctly – whether it's in the community or in school – we have a concern," he said.
According to the Twitter feed, the competition began Monday. The organizer wrote on the social media site, "Best of luck to all. May the best girl win."
All social media carries a cyber footprint. School officials plan to use that footprint to track down who is behind the Twitter account and competition.
Jan Zadoorian is the principal of Taft Hall.
"We've spoken with all the students," Zadoorian said. "Any female students that were named, we're reaching out to their parents. Some of the students forward this information; they retweet it."
Many of the tweets have been deleted, but administrators said they filed a report with Colonie Police and are in the process of a conducting an investigation.
Several students fired back on Twitter and called the competition bullying. North Colonie Central Schools Superintendent Joe Corr found the backlash encouraging.
"We have ongoing education," he said. "We talk about the impact of what you're posting on social media and electronic media as something that stays with you.
School officials said when those responsible are identified, they will face disciplinary actions.
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