I have created this Petition on behalf of all of the young men and women of Kirkland Middle School, Past-Present-and-FUTURE, as well as for their parents.
KiMS needs to develop policies that do not shame our daughters or underestimate our sons by assuming that they cannot be expected to behave appropriately around girls who show any skin. The shaming of the female form - and the blaming of girls, while excusing boys for being boys - are the real disruption to the educational environment. There is also the feeling our daughters get when it's NOT the boys at school that are "uneasy" about their clothing, but the adults and administrators who feel "uncomfortable" seeing them.
When we communicate, as one example, that "girls" have to make sure to wear shorts that comply with 'the fingertip rule' lest they distract "boys" in the learning environment, we are sending a very powerful message. Whether the words "girls/boys" are stated or left unstated, what we are saying to boys is that girls are a distraction to you, that you cannot and are not to be expected to control yourself. T
We are supposed to be creating an environment where we are teaching boys and girls how to move through this world, have accountability, and being respectful humans.
Daily girls are pulled out of classes or otherwise humiliated for showing their bodies. They are also blamed for their male peers’ inappropriate behavior when it could possibly be brought on by their bodies. By taking this stance, administrators insinuate that boys’ education is more important than girls’, and it is more important for a male student to not be distracted than for his female counterpart to miss an entire class or be subjected to humiliation.
The disciplinary measures employed by KiMS imposes unequal burdens on our daughters. Girls are removed from class and miss important learning opportunities. The stress caused from an instance of sex discrimination at school might be profound enough to diminish academic success, at least for our girls.
Aside from the potential academic challenges this poses for girls, schools are also perpetuating damaging norms of rape culture when they make no attempt to discipline boys’ inappropriate leering and harassment of female students, opting to blame the girl's attire. This instills the message that it is the victim’s fault when she is harassed, and it is her responsibility to prevent the harmful behavior of others.
We are talking about Legs, Thighs, Collar Bones, Shoulders, Shoulder Blades, Necklines, Belly Buttons, Lower Backs, Ankles, Bra Straps... REALLY. Which of these body parts is dress coded on our young men???