A Pennsylvania high school sent out a letter outlining specific dress codes for its students during this year's graduation ceremony, and is now being called out as sexist. While it isn't unusual for schools to require students to follow certain guidelines for graduation outfits, Biglerville High School illustrated a clear and offensive double-standard that has students and parents fuming.
In the letter, male students were give the simple directive to wear collared shirts, khakis and no visible underwear. Female students, however, were told to, "keep 'the girls' covered up," and "hide any unappealing bits or 'sausage rolls' as Mrs. Elliott calls them." The letter went on to say, "You can't put ten pounds of mud into a five pound sack."
Biglerville senior Brianna Burtop took issue with the offensive letter, posting it to Facebook and then voiced her frustrations in an interview with ABC news.https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=66&v=iLQSCbrmX4g&h=500
Administration at Biglerville High School said in response to the controversy:
The administration acknowledges that some individuals have found certain language in the document to be inappropriate or in poor taste. The document was drafted years ago, and the author of the document has since retired.
Reading between the lines, this statement can be interpreted as, "Oh, some people were offended? K. Well, the person who wrote this retired so - problem solved, huh?"
Allow me to take this opportunity to point out that this statement from the high school is NOT an apology and they clearly owe one to every student and parent. This kind of blatant body-shaming has no place in the public school system and Mrs. Elliott, whomever she may be, should be ashamed of herself for using such a term to describe her female students. Perhaps the letter was outdated, perhaps Mrs. Elliott and her archaic, sexist term is outdated but that is no excuse. Did no one read the letter before it was sent to the entire student body? Was there not a single person in the administrator's office who looked at those words and thought, "Hmm...maybe this isn't such a great idea?" Honestly, I'm not sure what's worse; the idea that the administrators clearly have NO CLUE what they are sending out to their student body or that they simply hide behind ignorance and excuses. Nice example, Biglerville High.
To Brianna Burtop and every other young woman out there with the courage to stand up for herself, keep going. This writer supports you.