Republican legislators in Missouri want interns to dress more appropriately so their fellow lawmakers will stop harassing them and more importantly, will stop being caught and forced to resign.
That's after two of their fellow lawmakers were forced to resign in recent months after they acted in a sexually inappropriate manner towards the female students they employed as interns.
The bill was authored by state Rep. Bill Kidd and state Rep. Nick King, both Republicans.
"We need a good, modest, conservative dress code for both the males and females. Removing one more distraction will help everyone keep their focus on legislative matters."Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat also from Missouri, says the blame should rest with the elected adult officials, not the college kids.
"Victim-blaming obscures justice and undermines a process that should be based solely on factual evidence, not on a desire to skirt accountability. (Recommending a dress code) reeks of a desire to avoid holding fully accountable those who would prey upon young women and men seeking to begin honorable careers in public service."The issue cropped up a few months ago after Missouri House Speaker John Diehl (R) resigned in May following a newspaper story that he sent sexually suggestive text messages to a 19-year-old college intern.
Then, Democrat Sen. Paul LeVota was forced to resign after two interns accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances.Missouri lawmakers are now having a fit trying to decide if and how they should continue the intern program.
Other suggestions include a ban on texting with college students working for lawmakers, establishing an Ombudsman so interns can complain internally instead of going to the press and training for elected officials employing interns and sexual harassment education for everyone.
Being an intern isn't easy.College students trying to earn on-the-job experience before graduation are often asked to perform thankless jobs for little or no pay, often merely earning class credit despite long hours on the job.
One intern, not in Missouri, disliked his boss so much he left a sticky note when he quit, saying he spit in the coffee he was asked to bring daily.
So now, along with borrowing crushing amounts of debt to finance their college education and working for free to gain important on the job experience, college interns must also learn to mind their manners, because apparently, the adults can't.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]