Male Perry students dressed up as Massillon cheerleaders and one of them held a fake baby at last Friday's pep rally. (WKYC)
STARK COUNTY, Oh. -- The rivalry between Perry and Washington Massillon in Stark County, Ohio, is an intense one, with only three miles separating the schools. But some parents think the rivalry was taken to an inappropriate level at Perry's pep rally last Friday.
A photo of male students dressed as Massillon cheerleaders, including one carrying a fake baby that was reportedly taken from a health class, went viral, prompting angry reactions on Facebook.
One Perry parent told Cleveland's WKYC she felt bad for Perry's own students,"
Perry Superintent John Richard said a 17-year-old student was punished for the stunt.
"The student is certainly aware of the bad decision that he made," Richard told WKYC. "He's writing an apology to the Massillon cheerleaders."
Richard also said the Perry will institute a new rule requiring that future pep rallies uplift school spirit without focusing on opposing teams.
Perry beefed up security at its stadium for Friday night's game, which Massillon won 41-21.