ST. GEORGE — For the second year in a row, Snow Canyon High School’s annual Men’s Week has ended with the school filled with posters telling students that men are the “superior gender”.
As an annual tradition, Snow Canyon High School holds a Men’s Week and a Women’s Week, events that the school has, in the past, billed as a “battle of the sexes.”
It’s a tradition that’s gotten them in trouble before. In March of last year, pictures of posters with sexist jokes hit social media and caused a public outcry against the faculty.
But little seems to have changed. This year, the school has decided to hold its “Men’s Week” again and, just like last year, the school has become covered in posters that have some parents and students fuming.
Last year’s Battle of the Sexes controversy
For Snow Canyon High School, this story is nothing new. A little over a year ago, on March 27, 2017, their Battle of the Sexes became a minor news controversy when a student put pictures of the posters around her school up on her Twitter account.
Those pictures were full of what some people described as “awfully derogatory posters about women.”
Some had jokes, such as: “What’s a woman’s point of view? The kitchen window” or “How do you blind a woman? Put a windshield in front of her.”
Others made their point more simply, with one simply drawing stick figure pictures of a man and woman and placing a “greater than” sign between them to mark the male as superior.
The backlash from parents and students was so fierce that, by the end of the day, the school canceled the event. They also canceled their planned Women’s Week, scheduled for February 2018, to make sure that they didn’t make the same mistake.
But now, a little over a year later, the school has decided to give Men’s Week a second chance. And, once again, it’s led to the exact same results.
Snow Canyon High School does it again
This week, Snow Canyon High School threw its “Men’s Week” celebration once more, kicking the festivities off with a “Mr. Warrior Assembly”.
Throughout the week, the school promised, they would engage in the activities that they apparently believed best fit a week for men: arm-wrestling, video game competitions, and eating pizza.
The pizza party, though, was for men only. On Friday, according to the school’s original plan, male students would be given free pizza and an early dismissal while their female classmates stayed behind at school.
Snow Canyon put some effort into keeping the event from devolving into the same problems they’d had in March of last year. They handed out guidelines beforehand, warning the students that they were not to put up posters with any offensive jokes.
But they didn’t just warn the pranksters not to cause any problem. They also talked to the people who would get offended by it. During the assembly on Monday, one of the coaches reportedly explicitly told students that would be upset about the school’s Men’s Week: “Don’t get offended at this, it’s all in good fun.”
By the next morning, just like last year, the school was covered in posters with messages like: “It feels so good to be a man” or “Enter if you believe men are the superior gender.”
The parents let their voices be heard
The students, it seems, disobeyed the faculty’s instructions not to get offended. Students and parents alike have been sharing pictures of the posters online. The event has built into a small scandal, with social media outlets buzzing with messages calling the event “unbelievable” or asking: “How is this OK?”
Snow canyon high school in St. George, UT hosting a “men’s week” this week, and no “women’s week” this year… and boys are hanging up signs like this one. Wow. Shame. @KSLcom @KUTV2News pic.twitter.com/ZiBnC3loJk
— Gina Evans (@GinaEva60247804) October 23, 2018
Snow Canyon High School Principal Warren Brooks has sent a letter home to the students’ parents explaining that the posters were “not authorized and put up after school hours.”
The school has also eliminated every trace of the event once called “Men’s Week”. In the wake of the public controversy, the week has been renamed “October Week” and the free pizza and early dismissal day are now going to be extended to students of both genders.
“We realize our mistake and are saddened at the course these events have taken,” Brooks says in his letter to the parents. “Our corrective action is to immediately eliminate these types of divisive events and celebrations.”
But many have been left wondering how the school could still be making the same mistake.
Some former students have reported that “Men’s Week” is “nothing new”, with one, Payge Durrant, saying that the celebration happened “every year” that she attended the school.
“I can’t believe that it has been allowed,” says Durrant, “but I’m not surprised.”
More to the story
Dave & Dujanovic talked about this story on KSL Newsradio. Debbie Dujanovic says there’s no question that this is offensive, but Dave says: “It’s trash talk. If you’re taking trash talk seriously, then you need to lighten up.”
If you missed the show live, you can still hear everything they had to say on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.