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?”

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.”

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.”

Share your comments below.

  • They need a new principle!


  • Maybe the Principal thinks there might be less temptation if the girls don’t wear low-cut necks (some leave very little to imagination and skirts so short you could see their knickers if they leaned forward at all. It does NOT excuse the behaviour of boys….or girls. I have overheard girls harrassing boys too.


  • If you are not happy about the uniform rules being enforced, don’t send your child to that school.


  • Some schools have extremely strict uniform rules.

    • Yes, my friends daughter goes to a Catholic school, where the skirt has to be mid-calf length and they have to wear blazers all year round (also in summer)….so super strict, I feel for the girls !


  • Parents and school community were right to be outraged by the words of this principal, disgraceful !


  • Victim blaming for sure, even worse that it’s coming from a woman in a position of authority. How dare she imply that anyone is somehow responsible for being attacked. This sends so much the wrong message to impressionable, innocent, developing minds. She should be fired.

    • Thankful the article states they are looking at disciplinary options for this principal.


  • What nonsense. Strict dress codes make support discipline and pride in appearance but should never be related to safety.


  • Disgraceful to victim blame and even sadder for a woman in a position of power to think and put into words that females should dress from shoulder to knee. There appears to be a lack of knowledge about these issues which surprises me in an educational setting. The community has every right to be completely outraged.


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