A school in Breton, Alberta, Canada, is making headlines because of a note posted by male students, Global News reports.
The note strung up at Breton High School included an offensive slang word and read:
"When you wear little to no clothing and dress provocatively because it's 'too hot out' or because you think it's 'attractive,' you are putting boys at risk of having a distracting working environment and saying, 'your clothing is more important than their education.' Instead of dressing like a THOT, value the male education and dress conservatively."
The note was reportedly hung up in response to a note posted in the girls' bathroom prior. This note read as follows:
"When you interrupt a girl’s school day to force her to change her clothes, or send her home because her shorts are too short or her bra straps are too visible, you are telling her that making sure boys have a “distraction free” environment is more important than her education. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies teach boys that girls are not sexual objects."
According to the Breton High School dress code policy, guidelines are:
-All shorts/skirts must exceed the length of arms/fingers and the inseam to shorts must be the minimum of one hand length
-Straps for shirts must be three fingers wide for males and females, and bra straps must be covered
-All navels must be covered
-Cleavage must be covered
-Pants/shorts must be pulled up so that boxers/briefs are not exposed
-Images/words on tops/bottoms must be appropriate for a professional learning environment
Breton High School principal Lara Jollymore legitimized the notes with a letter home to parents that said:
"There are some female students who have posted their opinions about how they feel that they should be able to wear whatever clothes they wish at school, because they have the right to, and that ladies should not be objectified by gentlemen because it is wrong. The gentlemen have responded by posting their opinions about how the school is a professional learning environment, and that ladies should respect that by wearing clothes that meet the dress code, and do not distract them, because even though it is not appropriate for gentlemen to objectify ladies, when ladies wear extremely provocative clothing, they can be distracted."
The back-and-forth subject of dress code policy versus institutionalized prejudice illuminates the larger discussion being had by schools around the United States, too. There's the Oklahoma teen's Facebook post on her school's sexist dress code, the school in North Carolina that dictated what girls could wear to prom, and the student who wore an incredible T-shirt to her middle school in an effort to fight back against sexism.
What it all boils down to is this: While school attire policies are irrefutably necessary for all sexes, there seems to be an ongoing trend of administrators singling out girls' clothing, specifically. The sexualized lens through which young women are frequently viewed is troubling, to say the least.
It's time we alter the scope of the issue itself and begin recognizing female students as far, far more than their bodies.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Kevin Krejci