According to NBC24, a Perrysburg, Ohio high school student named Mehros Nassersharifi has been arrested after students at Perrysburg High School complained about a Twitter account he was running.
Perrysburg Police took Nassersharifi into custody on Wednesday, charging him with the astounding crime of “telecommunications harassment.” What was the young man’s specific crime? He was apparently keeping a “Top 100 Hottest Girls at Perrysburg High” list going on his Twitter account, @GirlsRanked.
Now say what you will about the ethics of keeping such a list, and say what you will about any disciplinary action the school could or should have taken, but we fail to see how this rises to the level of criminal activity. Perhaps it is a sign of poor upbringing. Perhaps it is a sign that the gentleman running the account does not have the proper level of respect for his female classmates (although even that is getting a little too deep for us). But a crime? We’re going to saddle this kid with a criminal record because of some harmless ranking list?
To imagine how insidious this is, you only need to think about what would have happened if the gender roles were reversed. Not in a million years would the Perrysburg Police Department, or any other police department in the world, arrest a young woman for maintaining a “Top 100 hottest dudes” list on her Twitter account. And if they did, that young woman would be a guest on the Today Show and Hollywood’s latest cause célèbre before the week was finished.
“A Perrysburg High School student was charged by Perrysburg Police Department for telecommunications harassment today, April 17, 2019, in connection with a Twitter account that was opened last week that contained posts (now removed) that made very inappropriate and disparaging comments about several of our female students,” read a statement from the school district. “We are pleased to share that more than 100 students reported this Twitter account to teachers and administrators last week, which enabled us to quickly respond and begin our investigation in partnership with Perrysburg Police Department.”
Sorry, but we fail to see how making “inappropriate and disparaging comments” should put anyone in danger of being arrested. The First Amendment is still a thing in Ohio, is it not?