An Indiana mom is outraged at an invitation her son received to a sixth-grade pool party that asked for girls to cover themselves up, Huffington Post is reporting.
Ms. Smith said her son received an invitation to a pool party to be held for certain exemplary sixth grade students at Rhoades Elementary School in Indianapolis. But she was outraged at the way the invitation specified a dress code for girls.
“All girls must wear a non-white t-shirt over their swimsuit.”
Even though she’s not a parent of a daughter, Ms. Smith was outraged by the invitation, and she didn’t want her son to participate in an event that makes girls feel ashamed of their bodies.
“Being a feminist and seeing things through that filter, I was just kind of enraged by that. They’re saying little girls need to be ashamed of their bodies and cover themselves up. I have a little boy, I’m teaching him to think correctly, and this is contrary to what I’m teaching him.”
Ms. Smith posted the invitation to the Feminism on Facebook page. From there, it started gaining attention in the national media.
Jennifer took her complaint to the school principal, according to Babble, asking for clarification of the girls’ swimsuit rule. The school principal claimed that the swimsuit rule was meant to discourage teasing, something adolescent girls and boys are wont to do.
“Due to the varying sizes of students at this age, [making T-shirts mandatory] takes away the ability of kiddos making fun of others for wearing a shirt [since] everyone is required to wear one.”
Firing back, Ms. Smith cited scientific research about body-shaming and self-esteem in adolescent girls.
“I am not sure if you are aware of the emotional hardship that is caused by [telling] young girls their bodies are inappropriate and must be covered. According to Siegel (1999)…”
This is not the first time that a school dress code has outraged parents, especially when it comes to different standards for boys and girls. In fact, several stories this year have made the national media of high school girls being disciplined, shamed, or otherwise given grief over the clothing they’ve chosen to wear to school or school functions.
After several emails, phone calls, and even alerting the media, Ms. Smith’s crusade against the girls’ swimsuit requirements came out in her favor: the rule was removed, and the pool party went on as planned. None of the girls at the pool party wore a T-Shirt.
Do you think the requirement that girls at a sixth-grade pool party cover up with a T-shirt is a reasonable one? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Jennifer Smith]