A Florida mom was outraged after her 9-year-old daughter's school allegedly asked her to cover up because her tank top "distracts” boys. However, instead of complaining about the dress code, she and other students performed a peaceful protest.
Kate Darrow tells Yahoo Lifestyle that on Wednesday, her 9-year-old daughter, who attends Callahan Intermediate School, was told to wear a hoodie as her tank top “distracts” male students.
The school’s 2019-2020 Student Handbook, available online, states that "shirts must cover midriff area and may not have spaghetti or thin straps less than 2 inches."
Instead of calling the school, Kate, her daughter, son, and a few of their friends made sure they were heard.
On Monday, Kate's daughter wore a T-shirt to school which read, "Right to bare shoulders." Her older son, and two other students wore shirts with the slogan, "Real men aren't distracted by shoulders."
“My friends and I came up with the idea for the shirts. We thought it would be somewhat of a ‘peaceful protest,’” Kate tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I had no idea it would get to where it has.”
The family says the children wore the shirts without issue, but on Tuesday, Kate and her husband Rob met with administrators, who said they will look into what happened.
Rob tells Yahoo Lifestyle that while the dress code is written in a language that includes both boys and girls, “there are very specific things” that target female students.
Both Rob and Kate agree that while comments like these may be said jokingly the underlying message is, “We should tell women that they should behave in a way that doesn’t disturb or distract men.”
The parents believe this is the wrong message to send boys and girls.
“If someone is distracted because a female is showing her shoulders, someone needs to tell that boy, ‘You need to be able to focus yourself and women are not objects,’” Rob tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Kate says the family would like to see the dress code changed. “It’s bringing the wrong idea to these girls that they are responsible for what a boy does.”
Callahan Intermediate School did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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