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Should Canadian girl have been suspended for wearing short shorts?

June 2, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
A teenager in Montreal is raising a fuss after she was suspended last month for refusing to go home and change out of her short denim shorts, which violated the school dress code.

Lindsey Stocker said she was humiliated because the principal told her in front of the entire class that her shorts were too short and she would have to change. In response, Lindsey printed up signs saying "Don't humiliate her because she's wearing shorts. It's hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects" and taped them up all over the school in protest. The administration pulled down the signs and suspended Lindsey. The Daily Mail has more on the story at

This is the third or fourth story of this type I've seen in recent months. Some parents are beginning to object to their girls -- particularly well-developed girls -- being targeted for dress code violations when they wear leggings or shorts or revealing shirts. Here's one such story about a protest about the dress code at an Illinois school:

Personally, I look at stories like this and think it's yet another example of people wishing the world were one way when it is really another. Like it or not, boys (and probably some young male teachers) will get distracted by girls wearing short shorts or mini skirts. Some girls can wear clothing like that without appearing immodest; others cannot. Girls would likely be distracted too by boys in skimpy clothing, which is why we don't let boys go shirtless in history class. Can boys and girls learn how to control themselves and should they be held accountable for sexual harassment in the hallways? Of course, but why make it harder for them than it has to be?

Besides, when I was in school we weren't allowed to wear shorts at all to school, no matter how hot it was outside. I think it might not be a bad idea to return to those days. School is not the beach. I say young Lindsey deserves her suspension.

What do you think about these school dress codes?


Article Comments



Jun-04-14 8:40 AM

Landslide, I rarely am on board with everything you say but in this instance I am completely on board and agree.


Jun-03-14 3:10 PM

That's a fashionable topic right now in certain circles, especially if you go to sites like Alternet or The Feminist Wire.

I think most people agree that men and women are responsible for controlling themselves and it isn't a woman or girl's fault if she is assaulted, even if she happens to be wearing skimpy clothing. That said, I think both men and women are highly visual and hormones are running wild in middle school and high school. It would likely not be easy for a boy of that age to concentrate on his assignments if he's sitting across the aisle from a pretty classmate wearing Daisy Dukes. I have a certain amount of sympathy for a male teacher in his early 20s who has a classroom filled with late adolescent girls, some of whom may be flirting with him (based on the way some of my classmates behaved at a similar age.) He would be entirely at fault if he acted inappropriately, of course, just as the boys would be if they gave their female classmates unwanted attention.


Jun-03-14 1:17 PM

I think the no raping idea has to come from the home. I also think that if a school has a dress code, it should be followed. Should we ignore one rule in favor of another? I don't think we live in a rape-based society. I think we've become an "it's the other person's fault" society. Don't watch what I'm doing! Look what that person is doing!


Jun-03-14 1:15 PM

I was listening to my daughter claim we live in a rape-based society. She was also spouting off about boys not being taught not to rape and, how instead, we teach our girls to be ashamed, scared and suspicious. I disagreed with her. We imprison rapists. I would think that is a big NO on raping from our society. I know it's hard to get prosecutions in some instances but I'm going to go ahead and blame the individuals in the judicial system rather than the judicial system as a whole.


Jun-03-14 9:19 AM

The kids spend so much time hanging around school for extra-curricular activities she must have got confused and thought she was at home.


Jun-03-14 8:45 AM

Suspended for wearing short shorts? How about they expel her for the sign posting stunt?

It's a dress code. You knew this coming in. To now turn around and decry "shaming" is downright disingenuous.

Of course, I'm wondering why the principal allegedly decided to handle a disciplinary issue in public. In my experience, these sorts of matters should be done behind closed doors with multiple witnesses present.

That said, when did "shaming" suddenly become this pressing human rights issue? I mean, it's not like we have people around the world murdering each other for the most petty of reasons or people using government to oppress others who are not like them, right?


Jun-03-14 7:53 AM

I don't know I would have to see a picture of her and her daisy dukes. I see students wearing pajamas to school so why not. j/k


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