School Kicks Dozens of Girls Out of Class in Outrageous Dress Code Crackdown (VIDEO)

kneesThis week, yet another high school made headlines for cracking down on female students for dress code violations. Dozens of girls -- kids say as many as 60, but the school puts the number closer to 25 -- at the Vista Murrieta High School in Murrietta, California were pulled out of class, escorted out of the building, and forced to call their parents, summoning them to bring a change of clothes before they were permitted to return to class on a 90-degree day.

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Here's video of the "offensive" outfits (beware, there's foul language) posted by one of the students:

Notice they're all girls.

We’ve heard this story before. This spring, girls from Pennsylvania to North Dakota have been sent home or forced to change their clothing because someone deemed their outfit too short, too tight, or too low-cut.

Yet every time a girl -- often a teenager but sometimes as young as 5 -- is sent home for wearing something that a school administrator deems too suggestive, I cringe. And not just because I deplore the practice of shaming girls for their bodies or the double standard that allows boys to roll into school wearing whatever they choose (kids at Murietta have also been posting photos of boys in shorts that are similar in length to their own). But because I know if that phone call comes for me one day, I’ll have to make a choice.

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Would I show up at my daughter’s school with baggier, longer clothes? The part of me that wants my daughter taking notes in her Geometry class or learning about the Civil Rights movement says yes. My daughter belongs in a classroom, and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her there.

But there’s another part of me, the part of me that sees the dress code issue for what it is: an effort on the part of those in power to put my daughter in her place. To teach her that her body is not her own; it belongs to those who are viewing it. To let her know that when she wears a V-neck-top and a pair of shorts from the Gap, she is a perpetrator and the men and boys at her school -- powerless before a glance of her thigh or a sliver of her cleavage -- are victims of her body.

In short, the dress code undermines everything I’ve ever tried to teach her --and everything I’ve worked hard to learn over the course of my own lifetime. What would I be saying if I cast that all that aside because a school administrator has an archaic --and frankly, creepy --obsession with young girls’ bodies?

So if the call comes for me one day, I’ll tell my daughter to sit tight, but that I won’t be coming. And the next day, I’ll tell her to wear what she likes. Maybe it’s her favorite skirt. Maybe it’s her lucky shirt, the one with the spaghetti straps. Maybe it’s the pair of short athletic shorts that make her feel strong. Whatever she chooses, I hope it makes her feel happy, or pretty, or proud. Those are the feelings that guide my wardrobe choices -- and I want them to be the ones that guide hers, too.

Because ultimately, dress codes like the one that's making waves at Murrieta aren’t just about our daughters. They are about all of us. And it’s time we started saying so.

Would you bring your daughter a change of clothes after a dress-code violation or would you refuse?

 

About the Author: Erin Blakeley writes about parenting and family life. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Parents, CNN.com, Babble and Scary Mommy, among other publications. You can find her on twitter @blakeleyerin.


Image via Kelikoeala/Twitter

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