One Texas principal has apologized after a “sexist” dress code video discouraging female students from sporting athletic shorts to the high school went viral online for all the wrong reasons.
In the minute-long fictitious clip, which has since been viewed over 92,000 times on Twitter, M.I.A’s song “Bad Girls” plays while a group of teen girls walk through the school in oversized T-shirts and barely-there shorts. Crossing paths with a school official who appears displeased with their appearance, the girls are sent into a classroom labeled “dress code violators.”
Seated in desks, with another female teacher at the front of the room, the students forced to repeat the phrase “I will not wear athletic shorts” over and over, as written on a white board.
Appalled, seniors Catherine Moring and Nicole Hollowell asked a teacher to send them the video, which Moring posted to Twitter where it soon went viral, WFAA reports.
“Today my school was shown this video. So sad how ONLY girls are shown as the violators. I understand why my school has a dresscode, but what about the boys who wear shorts, or show their shoulders? It’s 2018…Why are we still over-sexualizing teen girls?” she lamented on the platform.
“This is oversexualization. We’re not okay with this, we’re not going to just let it happen and sit on the sidelines,” she later told WFAA.
Hollowell similarly agreed.
“They were zooming in on girls legs in the video. They were showing up close of the girls in shorts. They were doing this at the same time saying shorts were too sexual too be worn at school,” she mused.
In the days since, many Twitter users outside the school community have chimed in, voicing support for the female students and outrage over the “sexist” nature of the clip.
According to WFAA, school principal Will Skelton subsequently issued the following statement to students and parents regarding the controversial video, and apologized.
“I apologized to our students regarding this issue today, but wanted to reach out and apologize to parents as well. I’m a firm believer that when you make a mistake, you own it, you apologize, and you make it right,” Skelton said.
“Yesterday we showed a dress code video that featured only female dress code violations, and was accompanied by a poor song choice. Construction in and around the campus prevented us from holding student orientation, which is typically accompanied by a fashion show that demonstrates what to wear, and what not to wear. We believed a video would be a good way to replace the fashion show, but this video absolutely missed the mark.”
“Please accept my sincere apology for not ensuring our video achieved its intended purpose – to remind ALL students of our dress code expectations.”
Moving forward, the Marcus High Student School Handbook Addendum for the 2018-2019 school year states that female students “may wear long pants of appropriate length, skirts or shorts of appropriate length, at or about mid-thigh or longer.” The same rule applies for male students regarding pants or shorts that sit “at the natural waistline.”