Instagram account of EHS students sparks conversation on sexual violence

TW: Mentions of sexual violence and racism

Instagram+account+of+EHS+students+sparks+conversation+on+sexual+violence

Maren Fullerton and Isadora Li

Following the murder of Sarah Everard, a victim of sexual violence and assault at the hands of a police officer in London, a widespread conversation has started about sexual assault and rape culture. Everard took a number of precautions to maintain her safety, including wearing brightly colored clothing and calling her boyfriend prior to her murder. However, her death represents a truth that 81% of women experience sexual harassment

On March 16, an Instagram account called “Do Better EHS” (@dobetterehs) was created by an anonymous student to allow a space for Edina students to share accounts of violence and harassment. Submissions were anonymously collected through a Google Form, and subsequently posted on the page. Posts include experiences ranging from sexual assault and rape to race-motivated violence. Over the past two days, the account amassed almost 400 followers and posted accounts of many student experiences across the middle schools and high school, before it was removed from Instagram on the afternoon of March 18. According to Instagram community guidelines, accounts are only banned if a large number of people report the account. Despite the removal of the account, its impact still spreads via reposts on the social media accounts of individual students.  

Additionally, the account administrator created a petition requesting that Edina High School take steps to ensure a safe environment for victims of sexual harassment and students of color. The petition details better support systems from district administrators that work to dismantle rape culture. The petition also includes the implementation of a consent-based health curriculum, staff training on personal boundaries, and systems of support for victims. As of 8:33 p.m. on March 19, the petition has 747 signatures. 

Following the deletion of @dobetterehs, another account, @edinatruth was created and includes posts from the deleted page as well as new stories. This account highlights their goals in their initial post captioned “We’re back,” by laying out their purpose to “expose the truth behind the culture in the ‘bubble.’” It names the account as a safe space for EHS students to share their stories regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or race. Both accounts explicitly stated that they are unaffiliated with EHS. 

Zephyrus will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on the developing story.