The Termination of Dragon Nation

The editorial is an opinion held by the editorial board of the newspaper and is a collaboration of the board. It needs a simple majority to pass. This month’s vote was 9-0.


It is time for @DragonNation1 on Twitter to end. What was once a fun school spirit booster that tweeted out what to wear to various sporting events and to show up and support the school has now turned into a front for bullying and harassment. I am calling for the account to be deleted or for ownership to be passed on to student council officials who would be able to use the platform appropriately and responsibly to represent the whole student body.

The account has long been “not affiliated” with Johnston Community School District, but in reality it appears that the administration and the holders of the account meet a lot about tweets. Whenever something offensive or meant to attack somebody is tweeted by @DragonNation1, it is gone within the day. If you read between the lines, it is easy to see that there is damage control 24/7.

Currently, @DragonNation1 has about 2,600 followers. The official Johnston Athletics account only has 29 more followers than that. The official Johnston Community School District account only has about 4,000. The Dragon Nation Twitter account is a platform for the district and high school that holds immense power. That power is something that has been abused.

No longer are the days where there was clarity of who was running the account. For years, the students who ran the account were listed in the bio. That brought a sense of accountability to those running it to show the school in a good light and be leaders of our student section. Nowadays, no one is listed in the account bio. If you asked kids around the school who ran the account, they would likely be able to spit out a list of names. The account is run by a group of students, but the entirety of that group is unknown. @DragonNation1 is used by these students as a wall to hide behind and harrass people because of its anonymity. The things said through this account would never be uttered in real life. @DragonNation1 has become a base for cyber bullying.

One example happened Dec. 6 before the basketball game with North. Dragon Nation tweeted that the game would be a “rat out” for the student section. That Tweet was soon deleted. Later, at the game a bed sheet with the word “RAT” on it was displayed towards the basketball court while a North player was attempting a free throw. Then, someone put on a Trump mask. Administration quickly took the bed sheet down, but the damage was already done. The thought of some was that this was in reference to the President’s comments made in 2019 calling Baltimore, a racially diverse city, rat infested. North took this as a racist attack, considering their school is approximately 77% non-white. In the following days, it was covered by the local news and talked about heavily on social media. Johnston was getting called the “racist school” by people in the Des Moines metro area.

Public assumption is after being called to the office by administration to discuss the events that occurred at the game, some of the operators of @Dragon Nation1 tweeted from a burner account @BarstoolJTOWN that they would be boycotting the basketball games and not attending them anymore.

Student A, who did not want to be identified, tweeted at @DragonNation1 to show up to the games, support the kids on the court, and quit making this about themselves. The @BarstoolJTOWN twitter account proceeded to tweet at Student A to cut their hair. The direct correlation between @DragonNation1 and @BarstoolJTOWN is evident through the fact that Student A tweeted at @DragonNation1 and was met with harassment from the @BarstoolJTOWN account. The @BarstoolJTOWN Twitter account has since been deleted.

After Student A tweeted at @DragonNation1 to support the school, they were blocked by @DragonNation1 and were harassed via direct messages as well. Student A provided the Black and White with images of the direct messages they received. The Black and White determined some of the messages were too inflammatory to print.

Another student who also did not want to be identified, Student B, had a similar experience.

Student B said to @DragonNation1, “I just don’t understand why you guys are blatantly disrespectful to other people in our school, administration, and other districts. This account is essentially being used to bully people.” @DragonNation1 responded with “If this is what society considers ‘bullying’ then we got a rough life ahead.”

When Student B referenced the bullying of Student A, @DragonNation1 responded with “If you think we’re bullying [Student A] u need to do your research… Y’all need to stop being so soft like the admin.”

@DragonNation1 also tweets at people from other schools. They tweeted at a wrestler from Ankeny Centennial to “go back to Skankeny.” That tweet has since been deleted.

While all of this drama is going on, we lose sight of why Dragon Nation was created in the first place–to build school spirit and bring positivity to the sports and activities at our school.