A teen was suspended for showing her knees—and told she needed to consider “guys and their hormones”
Now that the new school year is in full swing, reports of sexist dress codes are once again making the rounds. In the latest ridiculous dress code violation, one Florida student was suspended for wearing ripped jeans that exposed her knee.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay claimed that her daughter was removed from class at Forest Hill High School and told that “she needed to consider the guys in her class and their hormones” when dressing for school. In a September 13th Facebook post, McKinlay wrote that her daughter was in the middle of a quiz at the time, and as a result of receiving in-school suspension, missed all of her core classes that day.
“Perhaps she should have worn a different pair of jeans,” McKinlay ceded in the post. “But why should she have to worry about dressing a certain way to curtail a boy’s potential behavior? So, like, it’s her fault if the boy touches her because of what she was wearing?”
She continued by noting that her daughter had missed important information in class because of the dress code violation, and also wondered if the administrator also pulled boys wearing shorts out of class.
“Sexism. Victim blaming. Girl shaming,” McKinlay wrote.
Forest Hill High School Principal Mary Stratos told the Long Beach Post that ripped jeans and torn clothing of any kind constituted a dress code violation, but the first offense usually results in a lunch detention. She promised to investigate the administrator’s comments, but defended the school’s dress code as “gender-neutral.”
In a follow-up post on September 14th, McKinlay wrote that she spoke to members of the school board and was “confident that they are addressing the situation.” She acknowledged that her daughter had indeed violated the dress code by wearing ripped jeans, but argued that the punishment had been too severe.
“My daughter indeed violated her school’s dress code and she will bear the consequences of that,” she wrote. “But such a violation never warrants the experience she had yesterday.”
Recently, school districts have (thankfully) been taking complaints about sexist dress codes more seriously. In August, one California district even implemented a dress code that allows students to wear almost anything within reason. However, clearly, young women are still unfairly targeted by the rules in many districts—even when the policies themselves are “gender-neutral.”
Sexist double standards have got to end—and boys’ “hormones” should never be used as a justification to limit girls and women.
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