A high school principal in Texas apologized for a sexist dress code video that depicted girls walking around in short shorts and oversized t-shirts. Set to the song ‘Bad Girls’ by M.I.A, the video shows female students being sent to a room for ‘dress code violators’ where a teacher makes them repeat the phrase: “I will not wear athletic shorts.” Even more egregious than actually producing the PSA, however, was that administrators didn’t show the video to the whole school. No, faculty elected instead to play it only to female students.
Two of those students, Catherine Moring and Nicole Hollowell, took issue with the video and, after obtaining a copy, posted it to Twitter where it soon went viral. Let the backlash begin. Interestingly, this was the first year the school used a video to highlight dress-code violations instead of its usual fashion show held during orientation.
“We believed a video would be a good way to replace the fashion show, but this video absolutely missed the mark,” said Marcus High School principal Will Skelton. “Please accept my sincere apology for not ensuring our video achieved its intended purpose ⏤ to remind ALL students of our dress code expectations.”
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? pic.twitter.com/fCXymYAIEG
— cat (@catmoring) August 16, 2018
As Hollowell pointed out to local news outlet WFAA, the whole thing is rather ironic. In its attempt to tell the female students not to dress in a way that may sexualize them, the school did just that. “They were zooming in on girls’ legs in the video. They were showing up-close (shots) of the girls in shorts. They were doing this at the same time saying shorts were too sexual to be worn at school,” said Hollowell.
The backlash comes during the same week that another Texas high school also faced scrutiny after posting a sexist quote that read, “The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman.” Oh, Texas.