The Ladue List: Senior Girls Were Not the Only Target

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:15 am
click to enlarge Ladue Horton Watkins High School
Ladue Horton Watkins High School

On Friday, Daily RFT explored a phenomena at Ladue Horton Watkins High School known as the "Senior List" -- a tradition where junior boys humiliate senior girls on the last day of class by passing out a sexually explicit list of insults and gossip.

However, Susan Dielmann, the Ladue District's director of communications, says that while the 2012 list was written by male students about female students, that's not the whole story.

"We know this list has gone any number of directions," she says. "There was a time when senior girls [wrote about] junior girls ... A while back the lists were being made about teachers."

The issue came to light after Ladue mom Ruth Ahlemeier's daughter showed up on the 2012 list. Ahlemeier went back and forth with the school for four months before turning to the media. Last week, she submitted a formal complaint with federal authorities at the Kansas City Office for Civil Rights saying that the school has not adequately investigated the matter and allowed the list to go undeterred for three decades. She charges the district is violating Title IX by allowing discrimination based on gender.

Susan Dielmann
Susan Dielmann

Dielmann, while acknowledging the list's existence and the school's difficulty stamping it out, says administrators have been anything but indifferent.

"We attempt to identiy and discipline [the authors.] The problem becomes when stacks of papers show up in bathrooms and cafeterias and stuff," she says. "It's much easier said than done. It's not a matter of the district not caring or wanting this to stop."

Dielmann also says -- as have commenters on our original post and email tipsters -- that senior girls haven't been the only target.