In an increasingly progressive world (present administration excluded), it’s no surprise that more and more people are calling school dress codes into question — dress codes which, more often than not, seem to specifically target women and hold them responsible for any “impure” thoughts they might provoke in their male classmates.
Stanton College Prep, a public school in Jacksonville, Florida, recently made waves when someone (allegedly from the administration) put up posters around the school detailing what “good girls” should/could wear to the upcoming prom.
Stanton student Lily Willingham tweeted out a photo of the posters, which were posted to the school’s bulletin board a mere week before prom. The posters detailed which styles of prom dresses were apparently appropriate for the event, with infuriatingly insulting captions.
“There was immediate outrage due to not only to the fact that the dress code was introduced five days before prom, but also because of the sexist connotations,” Willingham told Huffington Post.
Not surprisingly, everyone from Stanton students to random Twitter followers felt the posters were sexist and insensitive.
The student body did not sit idly by once word spread about the posters. Within the same day as Willingham’s tweet, the hashtag #SCPGoodGirl was spreading on Twitter, with students and sympathizers protesting the school’s absurd dress code enforcement.
People began to send angry emails to the Stanton administration, voicing their support of the students.
The student body president, Anthony Paul, even gave an interview to a local news station after the story and the hashtag went viral.
The school attempted to remedy the error by tweeting out an “apology,” which essentially diverted the blame to someone else.
The Stanton Prep principal made a slightly more sincere-sounding apology to the students, saying “Please do accept my apology for this poor delivery of information. Our intent is to make sure prom is enjoyable and memorable.”
The day following Willingham’s initial tweet, students created the female symbol in purple duct tape on their shirts and showed up to school in an act of peaceful protest.
Willingham notes that even though the student body voiced their concern and opinion on this incident, there is still more work to be done in terms of dress codes in schools, and it’s important to know that this one victory doesn’t negate the issues that are undoubtedly present at other, less visible schools.
“Unfortunately what happened here is a symptom of what is still happening to girls in this country – – this over sexualization of our bodies and emphasis on it,” she tells the Huffington Post. “Girls are made to feel responsible for what a boy ‘might do or feel’ in response to how we dress. Dress codes are grossly outdated for 2017.”
Regardless, I have to say: these absurdly mature high school students are seriously putting some of us fully-grown adults to shame.