Parents are speaking out after a public school principal suggested that a stricter dress code could prevent the sexual abuse of girls.
Melanie Beatty-Sevier, principal of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. College Prep High School in Chicago made the stunning remarks at a recent school council meeting recorded by a parent, who re-played the audio during a Board of Education meeting last week.
“The dress code … as we already stated, there have been sexual abuse cases throughout the city of Chicago,” Melanie said on the footage obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
“These things are put in place to, why, why should we allow students to dress provocatively?”
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According to local news station ABC 7, some girls claimed to have been told at freshman orientation that they “must be covered from shoulder to knee.”
On the recording, parents can be heard protesting, saying “Woah!” and “Come on!”
Chicago Public Schools district, sent the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle.
“The district strongly disagrees with Principal Beatty-Sevier’s comments and we are evaluating appropriate disciplinary options. Supporting students must be the first priority of every principal, teacher and staff member and comments like these do not align with the district’s values or approach to supporting and protecting students.”
“Why should we allow students to dress provocatively,” said King College Prep High School’s new principal when justifying a change in dress code to prevent sexual abuse. CPS officials are reviewing the remarks, @bylaurenfitz reports: https://t.co/zWGMbCSdko pic.twitter.com/Ev3VwALUgC
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) August 22, 2018
Parents are outraged to hear her say such ridiculous comments, and to suggest that somehow dress is responsible or is connected to rape culture.
“The majority of the community is upset and want their former principal back. How students dress does not dictate sexual assault,”
“Rape is universal and this will not deter rapists from raping people. You are victim blaming girls. How about classes on consent and healthy relationships?”
“No ma’am! Victim blaming, not raising young men to have appropriate attitudes towards women, and refusing to hold them accountable for their actions, are the issues. Try to fix that, instead.”
“A statement like this reflects our societal belief that girls are the bearers of morality, whether it means accepting or rejecting a date or managing others’ sexual frustration,” Christia Brown, a professor of developmental psychology and author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “This, of course, is much of why the #MeToo movement was born.”
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