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Lakota West football player dismissed after orchestrating girl's social media bullying

Her mother says she wants to see consequences for others who participated.
Posted: 12:16 AM, Aug 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-24 00:16:17-04
WCPO principal elgin card.png

CINCINNATI — A Lakota West High School football player was dismissed from the team Friday, and several more will face “serious consequences” after recording and sharing a TikTok video bullying a female classmate, according to Principal Elgin Card.

“It is beyond disappointing that any student would not only say these hurtful words but consider making a video and sharing it,” he said in video statement posted Friday on YouTube.

The mother of the girl targeted by the TikTok video, however, said she felt the consequences were not severe enough — and that the ringleader who created the video had repeatedly harassed her daughter for three weeks after she rejected his romantic advances.

He should be held responsible for all of it, the girl’s mother wrote in a Facebook message.

Wait, what is TikTok?
More chaotic than YouTube and more malleable than Vine, TikTok is a social network that allows users — mostly teenagers and young adults — to edit and upload short videos set to music. TikTok’s trending uploads regularly include dance challenges, tongue-in-cheek vlogs and short comedy sketches.

“Her head is spinning,” she continued. “She is devastated her childhood friends turned their backs out of fear of retaliation. She is devastated she cannot trust her safety to the leadership at the school.

“She is very scared to go to school,” she added. “They (the boys) were just given permission to continue this behavior and have increased the bullying.”

The video posted to the boy’s TikTok account, now removed, showed a group of freshman football players in the school’s locker room listing “Unattractive things about girls.”

Among those traits, according to the video: Having the same name as the girl at the center of the incident.

In Card’s statement, he said the other boys did not know they were recording a video targeted at a specific classmate.

“These are not excuses,” he said. “They are simply the facts. This type of behavior by any student is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by Lakota West.”

The girl’s mother said they did. She wants Card and the boys to admit it, she wrote.

“I want the kids in the video to tell the truth,” she said. “They knew what they were doing. They did it because they didn’t want (the boy who made the video) to come after them. It is wrong. And then do something that actually values the lives and safety of our children over the Friday night lights.”

WCPO does not normally use anonymous sources. However, it is also station policy not to identify most minors unless they are charged with a serious crime. To protect the identities of the minors involved in this story, WCPO has omitted the name of the girl's mother.