Credit: Bethesda Beat file photo

A Bethesda high school has been thrust into the national spotlight after a group of male students distributed a list ranking their female classmates based on appearance.

In March, “several” boys at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School were disciplined for circulating the list, and the girls who were named responded with discussions about how to “break the mold” of the “boys will be boys culture” that normalizes such behavior, according to students.

The list, and the girls’ response, has received widespread attention from Oregon to Washington, D.C., appearing in The Washington Post, ABC News, Yahoo News and morning television news shows “Today” and “Good Morning America.” On Wednesday, the story was the Post’s featured story on the social media app Snapchat and one of the female students named on the list was a guest on the radio talk show “The Kojo Nnamdi Show.”

B-CC Principal Donna Redmond Jones and a school spokesperson declined to comment on the widespread attention about the “rankings list” and how students have reacted to the attention.

Redmond Jones has also declined to disclose how the boys involved were punished, but female students who were on the list say only one male was punished and the other roughly 50 students who maintained the list for more than a year were not disciplined.

About 18 girls in the International Baccalaureate program were listed in a spreadsheet, ranked in order of physical attractiveness and the list was distributed via a group chat, according to school officials.

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The female students’ reaction has focused on “changing the conversation” rather than a “victims versus victimizers.”

Later this month, B-CC students will host a pop-up museum focused on the “toxic” aspects of teen culture at a former Bank of America branch on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda.

Some of the displays and discussions were crafted in response to the rankings list and students will outline why the actions were hurtful to the students involved.

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Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdda-remix.newspackstaging.com