Teacher Tells 12-Year-Old Girl She Should Be 'Clubbing' in Her 'Too Short' Skirt

dress code girl

If stories about girls being singled out by sexist school dress codes and blamed for "distracting" male students with their leggings or tank top straps make your blood pressure skyrocket, you might want to get any breakable items out of throwing range before reading this one: A sixth grader in South Carolina was not only humiliated in front of her friends and forced to change clothes for wearing a skirt her teacher said made her look like she should "be clubbing" -- she was given a lecture by her principal about how boys can't control their "inappropriate" thoughts.

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Suzie Webster thought the outfit her 12-year-old daughter Reese wore to school was perfectly acceptable -- because, as Webster's Facebook post shows, it was perfectly acceptable: Just her school's uniform shirt and an A-line denim skirt with a hemline that looks to be no higher than a couple of inches above the knee.

More from CafeMom: Nine-Year-Old Girl's Dress Code 'Violation' Is Straight-Up Body Shaming

Definitely not the kind of outfit you'd ever imagine your daughter getting in trouble for wearing, right? But as Webster wrote, Reese not only got in trouble, she got called out in front of her peers and insulted:

I found out that Reese was called out in the hallway surrounded by other kids and told to go to the office because her skirt was too short and needed to be replaced. Also, the teacher told her she looked like she should 'be clubbing.'

Clubbing?! An after-school "club" where they serve milk and cookies and do arts and crafts projects, maybe. But the teacher's snarky (and highly inaccurate) slam isn't even the worst part of this story.

The worst part is that Reese's principal took it upon himself to explain -- pardon me, I meant to say MANsplain -- to both the girl and her mother "that it was necessary to closely monitor the girls attire because boys at this age get very distracted by the girls and their appearance."

How can this keep happening in this day and age, when there is a constant and current conversation about why boys need to learn how to take responsibility for their actions if we're ever going to move away from the all too prevalent rape culture that continues to make life hell for women? How, how, how? Did this principal not get the memo? Does he think it's 1952?! 

More from CafeMom: School Changes Dress Code to Save Girls From Their Lecherous Male Teachers

As the mother of a teenage girl, I feel like this one really gets under my skin. When my daughter was in eighth grade, I got a similar call from her principal telling me that I needed to bring a pair of replacement shorts to her school because the ones she was wearing were too short -- according a new dress code that had been put into place just days earlier, after school started (meaning after all the parents already went back-to-school shopping).

When I pressed him about why the dress code had been changed, he too gave the "distracting" nature of girls' clothing as a reason. Long story short, after I went on a huge rant about the sexist nature of that philosophy, nobody bothered my daughter about her shorts (which honestly weren't even that short) again -- which only proves to me that, at least some of the time, school administrators somehow, inexplicably, don't fully consider the implications of gender-specific regulations like these. None of this is to say that I'm against dress codes entirely, of course, but the rules need to be fair and equitable and consistent. As Webster wrote:

I understand there has to be a line, but shouldn't the emphasis be on teaching our sons to be gentlemen and focus on their school work, not how much skin our daughters are showing? It really is hard enough to raise girls to have positive self esteem and a good body image without worrying that they are being shamed by their teachers and administrators. Everyone has different body shapes and it is sad to think that girls who may be more developed are called out because of how they look in their clothes, this is just plain wrong.

It is wrong. And it needs to stop happening. 

 

Image via Suzie Webster/Facebook

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