Reportedly, an entire squad of 44 female Utah high school cheerleaders were put on notice last week. The reason? Apparently, their school district-approved cheerleaders’ uniforms were too risque and distracting for one of their male classmates. The sexist incident took place at Timpview High School in Provo, Utah, and it has the entire squad of cheerleaders fighting mad and fighting back.
According to a report by Fox 13 Now, the incident went down like this: the Utah high school cheerleaders have a tradition of wearing their cheer uniforms to class on game days. Apparently, last week a male classmate couldn’t handle the view, and he reported his concerns to a Timpview High School teacher, administrator or other adult.
— FOX 13 News Utah (@fox13) September 13, 2016
The result of the complaint, reportedly prompted because the male student was being forced to have “impure thoughts” because he was being exposed to the uniform-clad squad of Utah high school cheerleaders on game days, was allegedly that the girls on the squad were told that instead of wearing their cheer uniforms on game day, they should wear their “best dressed” attire instead.
“We were told that we were not allowed to wear our uniforms anymore.”
According to Tess Rozier, a senior cheerleader on the Utah high school squad, the edict to change their attire at the behest of one male student didn’t go over well with her. Or the rest of the high school cheerleaders on the squad. The Utah high school cheerleaders were reportedly both angry and offended that they were being asked to change their clothes to placate a single male student incapable of managing his own “impure thoughts” when exposed to their cheerleader uniforms.
“Everyone on the team was quite upset.”
Indeed, the squad of Utah high school cheerleaders was very upset at being not just asked, but told that they had to change their clothes to make a single male classmate more comfortable in their collective presence on game day.
“‘Forty-four girls are being controlled. We’re getting told what to do by this one boy,’ said Georgia Bear, a Timpview cheerleader.”
At least one member of the Utah high school squad likened the request to change their wardrobe to appease the sensibilities of a boy and to help him control his so-called “impure thoughts” to the rape culture so prevalent at colleges and universities in the U.S. One such university that has recently been embroiled in college rape culture drama is Brigham Young University, ironically located in the same Utah city as Timpview High School.
@fox13 Grow up down there.
— James Lee (@Jimangogo) September 13, 2016
@fox13 oh Provo?..we love you. any chance we can give you to Colorado or Nevada?
— shamalongadingdong (@scottklimt) September 13, 2016
Only in Utah: High school cheerleaders at one school told they can't wear their cheer outfits because they distract boys.#rapeculture
— Tina Hatch (@tinayhatch) September 13, 2016
— Kate Kelly (@Kate_Kelly_Esq) July 1, 2016
In fact, many of the girls that attend Timpview High School end up at BYU after their high school graduation. So do many of the boys, such as the one who allegedly demanded that his female classmates change their clothes so his thoughts would be less impure.
“I kind of felt like it’s the school almost supporting a rape culture.”
While the entire 44-member squad of Utah high school cheerleaders is infuriated and taking their justified anger over the uniform issue public, a spokesperson for Provo School District is trying desperately to do some damage control as word of the so-called “rape culture” incident makes the rounds on the local news.
— Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) June 30, 2016
Caleb Price claims that the entire incident is a “big misunderstanding,” adding that they are investigating the story of a complaint. According to the district, the cheerleaders at the Utah high school were always allowed to wear their uniforms to class on game days.
“The school was never going to make the cheerleading team…not wear their uniforms on game days.”
According to Price, the Utah high school’s principal clarified the issue a week ago, assuring the public that the uniforms were and had always been allowed. According to the girls on the Utah high school cheerleading squad, however, that’s not what they were told.
The squad of Utah high school cheerleaders is standing behind its claim that they were told that they were no longer allowed to dress in their uniforms during class. And they are standing behind their story that the reason for the rule change was a single boy who reported “impure thoughts” after being exposed to 44 Utah high school cheerleaders dressed to cheer.
“One guy can’t control 44 girls on our team.”
— BYU News (@BYU_News) May 10, 2016
Timpview High School is located in a largely Mormon area of Utah, near not one, but two Mormon temples, and like BYU, many of the Utah high school’s dress codes and other policies are directly influenced by the Mormon church and so-called “Mormon values,” despite the fact that Timpview is a wholly publicly-funded high school that is in no way affiliated with the Mormon church.
Following the outrage of the Utah high school cheerleaders, and the sexist treatment they allegedly endured due to the “impure thoughts” of a single male classmate, the controversy surrounding the issue has made its way onto Mormon Internet forums.
— Tommy Jensen (@Aitocir) April 13, 2016
Reportedly, the older sister of senior Timpview cheerleader Tess Rozier took her complaints directly to a source: the “Mormon Stories Podcast” Facebook page. Her post to the page, which supported the rights of her sister and the squad of Utah high school cheerleaders to dress as they chose without regard to the “impure thoughts” of a male classmate, received a massive response.
“They are sexualizing a cheerleading uniform and I just think it’s disgusting, they are objectifying these girls. It’s sad that they even have to go through this, that they even have this as an issue, I mean, I thought we were past this.”
When the story hit Facebook, locals also spoke out. Some, like Gunner Miller, shared his (albeit sarcastic) support for the cheerleaders.
“But…but…modesty. You know you females have control over us with your feminine wiles. You need to keep your wiles covered at all times. I’m not sure where the wile is, but it is showing…somehow.”
Others, such as Rebekah A Bryner, opted to gender shame the Utah high school cheerleaders. Without mentioning the uniforms worn by the male school basketball team with impunity.
“Cheerleaders were NOT allowed to wear their uniforms to school because they weren’t inline with the dress code. Instead they all wore matching outfits.”
— Rachel Fabbi (@rachel_fabbi) June 13, 2016
At least one Facebook responder, Jean Lamal, called the Utah high school cheerleader uniform debacle out for precisely what it is.
“44 females should NOT bow down to ONE male because he MIGHT have impure thoughts. Take the guy out of there and let the cheerleaders do what they’re supposed to do. It’s not their fault what some random guy thinks when they’re wearing their cheerleading uniforms. The uniforms are more modest than lots of other things I’ve seen young girls wear.”
While the Utah high school cheerleaders have unequivocal permission to continue wearing their uniforms to class as per tradition, it is unknown what backlash they may face in their local Mormon communities for coming forward with their story.
[Image via Aspen Photo/Shutterstock]