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“ArE yOu WeArInG sHoRtS uNdEr ThOsE?”

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“ArE yOu WeArInG sHoRtS uNdEr ThOsE?”

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Graci Hargrave, Staff Writer

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Free Dress Fridays… what does that mean? That means we get to wear our normal clothes on the last Friday of the month, BUT the word free doesn’t exactly cut it. On Friday, October 26th, Ms. Stephanie Fournet placed an all call throughout the school for any student wearing sweatpants or leggings without shorts over them. Now, any normal person sees the issue with that, but if you don’t, hopefully this will enlighten you.

Many people say since we go to a Christian school we should respect the values of christianity and how christianity says ‘no’ to the leggings, but many more students have a rebuttal for that. Senior Ronni High says, “The female body is not a distraction. We shouldn’t have to cover up our God given bodies, especially if we have a shirt or sweatshirt long enough to cover anything that ‘matters.'” Junior Jack Bradley says, “Frankly I think in society people are reduced to their sexuality. For men, their desires are so uncontrollable that any women showing any skin causes sinful thoughts in the men around them, and for women their chastity and purity is portrayed through their clothes so as to prevent any sinful thoughts in the men around them. These ideas are extremely dangerous because it portrays that men are nothing but their sexual wants and women are nothing but people trying to prevent the sexual wants of others. This facilitated a skewed and narrow minded worldview that could potentially damage future relationships in favor of ‘decency’ or whatever vague definition that word embodies.”

Every single girl I talked to was outraged. Junior Emmie Gage says, “I think girls should be able to wear whatever they want and not get penalized for it. Guys don’t unless it’s the stupid sweatpants.” Junior Katherine Crochet says, “I believe that as respectable students of Ascension Episcopal School, we should have the right to express ourselves by wearing leggings with a modest long shirt that reaches fingertip length.” Junior Piper Blancher says, “I believe it is incredibly sexist and disrespectful to female students that they are not allowed to wear leggings to school on free dress days. Sending female students home because of the length of their free dress shorts or their choice in slacks is practically saying that stopping ‘sexual arousal’ in male students is more important than the education of female students. If the purpose of school is to prepare students for the real world, how is regulating the wearing of leggings stopping the male students from experiencing this ‘sexual arousal’ in the real world?” Many of our female students demand to be heard, including myself. I believe I am being told that my butt, something everyone has, is inappropriate. Maybe it was in the olden days of whenever leggings were just sheer tights this would’ve been an acceptable thing, but let’s face it, jeans nowadays give more definition to whatever they want us to cover up than leggings do. Just to never push it, I always wear one of my dude friend’s hoodies so I know it will cover my butt, but that was not enough for Ms. Fournet. Whenever she pulled me over, she asked me if I was wearing shorts because she could not tell because of how long my sweatshirt was. I believe that’s insane that she’s going to such lengths to make sure the students are “appropriate” whenever they already are appropriate and comfortable. It’s absolutely crazy to me.

Also, I agree with Piper… this rule is very sexist. The only thing saving me from ruling this as “extremely sexist” is because Ms. Fournet decided to also call out the kids in sweatpants. My question is: did she do that so she couldn’t be called out on a blatantly sexist rule? Or simply because both are “breaking the rules”? The rule on leggings, without a doubt in my mind, is still quite sexist. Regardless if Ms. Fournet intended her actions of “silent lunch detention” to be sexist, the rule still remains. In college and the real world, no one is going to dictate how you dress. I also do not believe that the school should have ANY say in what I wear to school other than a uniform. I believe if my parents (the ones who do have legal authority over me) allow me to wear it, so should the school system.

Two teachers also wanted to speak out on the issue. Reverend Larkin, our theology teacher, says, “I think the policing of bodies is horrible, and I don’t think leggings are any different than the school skirts and shorts. I have a huge problem with women’s bodies being policed as much as they are. It tells women that their bodies are bad and I’m against that.” She also says that “we [the faculty] don’t monitor what boys wear whenever they come to school. Their only standard is to have a clean shaven face on Monday. Girls everyday have to monitor what they wear, and it’s terrible. If boys’ faces can get scruffier throughout the week then why shouldn’t girls’ skirts get shorter throughout the week?” Mrs. Acevedo, Spanish teacher, says, “It’s stupid. They [the female students] are half naked anyways with their skirts up to their butt, so what’s the difference if they wear leggings? At least they’re covered. I don’t agree with the rule at all but I think the butt should be covered.”

Our male students have also come forward to express their thoughts. Junior Luke Guidry says, “I couldn’t care less what a girl wears to school. Leggings aren’t a distraction to any of us. If they are, I would suggest that we [the male students] get sent home.” Junior Asa Freeman says, “Anyone that has a problem from learning because of leggings means the leggings aren’t the problem, but rather, the people.” He also states, “I think leggings are appropriate for free dress days. Especially with the colder weather coming in. At least more appropriate than too short shorts or too tight shorts. Anyone that disagrees, I honestly can’t see where they are coming from.” Senior Michael “PDawg” Shaub says, “I feel like if the shirt is long enough then who cares. It is not a distraction.” Senior Blaine Blanchard says, “Leggings are not a distraction at school because the boys are up to par.” If Blaine says it, you KNOW it’s true.

To conclude my article, I would like to share with you all the conversation I had with Ms. Fournet whenever I asked her for a quote.

“I don’t make the rules. I just enforce the rules.”

Junior Emily Menard then asked, “Well, who DOES make the rules?”

Ms. Fournet’s response was… “…Dardar.”

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