Girl takes a stand for shorts in school flap

A Montreal girl has started a pushback against rules on what girls can wear in school after she was ordered to change the shorts she’d worn to school on a recent hot day.

Lindsey Stocker says she felt singled out. Why should she have to change the way she dresses? Why not discipline boys for their behavior instead?

So she started putting up signs around the school, the National Post says.

The posters were only up for about 10 minutes.

Other girls started wearing shorts to school.

Stocker was suspended.

“The rules are there to help the children learn and prepare them for their future work places, high school is a job for them, they are there to learn to function in society, so it’s important that the rules be followed,” School board member Susanne Stein Day said.

  • MrE85

    See Mark Twain quote on school boards.

  • kennedy

    School dress codes have been a hot topic for decades. While the attempt to classify this case as sexism is taking root, it’s not accurate. Both boys and girls are prohibited from wearing short shorts.

    • http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/ Bob Collins

      What about spaghetti straps?

      • kennedy

        Copied from the school website:

        “Students must dress appropriately for school. Ripped or torn clothing, short shorts or skirts, T-shirts with unacceptable language or promoting violence, drugs or sexual innuendo, halter tops/tube tops/bikini tops, visible underwear, low riding pants, excessive cleavage, outdoor clothing and attire exposing the midriff are all forbidden in school.”

        The “excessive cleavage” prohibition is the only item I see that is gender specific. The rules about clothing are not gender specific, and consistent about prohibiting the exposure of undergarments.

        • Kassie

          Technically maybe, but the short shorts or skirts and the halter tops/tube tops/bikini tops are obviously for the benefit of the girls, not the boys.

          • kennedy

            Agreed. And boys are more likely to wear sagging pants, so that portion of the rule is more directed at male students. Social norms result in a gender bias in clothing choices. While behavior is biased, the rule is not.

            There is just nothing here that persecutes females. Some people, even some school officials, may have interpreted it that way. But that doesn’t make it true. Showing a little skin, be it male or female, is not going to render the viewer incapable of civil behavior. But some things in the wardrobe are not appropriate for the classroom and it is disrespectful to wear inappropriate clothing to school.

          • Jamie H

            Agreed, kennedy.

          • Jamie H

            So what? Those garments SEXUALIZE girls (and women). I’m not a very good judge of what sexualizes boys, but I’m guessing a couple things listed would do it. It’s not appropriate for ANYONE to display their sexuality at school (and I’m sure that’s not the only reason for the dress code).
            Some women seem to think it’s a feminist thing to be their fully sexual selves anytime and anywhere. That’s not part of MY definition of feminism (I am a staunch feminist). And I wonder if calling it feminism is not just a convenient way for them get the goodies from dressing like Madonna or Miley Cyrus (or pick another slut). For example, some women who dress like that at my office get the attention — and the promotions — from male managers.

      • John O.

        Let’s face it Bob, you would look terrible wearing spaghetti straps. :-P

    • Joe

      I think the boys are discouraged from wearing short shorts for different reasons.

  • Snakebyte130

    You wear shorts but also wear a long sleeved sweater? I think she is trying to get attention and is doing it well.

    • Snakebyte130

      The policy in the district I live in is shorts must be at least to the tips of your fingers when your arms are at your side. she meets those criterias and the aides should have had an answer instead of ” you don’t need to understand the rules to abide by them” that was a complete fault on their part which made this even more amusing to watch

    • Jamie H

      Yeah. It’s clearly not about wearing shorts because it’s too warm.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    What am I missing – there seems to be nothing in the school’s rationale suggesting their dress code is to combat bad behaviour by boys?

    • jon

      Because apparently now we live in a world where it is safe to assume that anyone with a penis is a rapists, and that’s ok. (Anyone want to start an internet protest of men holding up signs say “I’m a man, and I’ve never raped anyone.”)

      But to suggest that young girls cover up their bodies in a way that is socially acceptable is sexist (though I doubt anyone would have a problem telling me to put a shirt on if I were to approach them and the glare from my pasty white chest was distracting).

      Of course the school missed the real teaching opportunity here… PEOPLE DO JUDGE YOU BASED ON WHAT YOU WEAR! don’t believe me? Try to get a job when you attend the interview in the same clothes you were wearing when you were painting the house. Unless it is a job painting houses, I doubt you’ll have much luck.

      • Kassie

        Really? Because I see men without shirts on ALL THE TIME working in their yards, walking around the lakes, playing basketball in the park, but if a woman wears short shorts or shows a little cleavage “she was asking for it.”

        This is about how instead of teaching girls that they need to cover up if they don’t want to be harassed, we should teach boys to not harass.

        • kevinfromminneapolis

          I don’t think this case has anything to do with how adults dress, and I don’t see anywhere where the school’s policy is to prevent boys from harassing girls. I’m struggling to see how her apparent violation of the dress code turned into that.

        • Joe

          Don’t worry, we have Miley Cyrus finishing the job by teaching girls about the freedom of breasts as a political issue, the boys learning how to not harass will naturally follow.

        • Jamie H

          This doesn’t appear to be primarily about girls being harrassed or assaulted at school, though that may be one goal of the rules. But I want to address this notion anyway: One can believe it is inapproriate for girls and women to wear revealing clothing without buying into the “she was asking for it” excuse.
          I’m hearing and reading what Kassie says a lot lately, as though this is a valid reason why women and girls should be able to dress as provocatively as they want to whenever and wherever they choose to do so. Yes, we should teach boys and men not to harrass or assault, and yes, we should teach girls and women not to dress provocatively (short shorts, cleavage, see-through clothes, etc., and yes, spaghetti straps, Bob) at school and at work, and perhaps anywhere else where it’s inappropriate to display one’s sexuality.