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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

Stop slut-shaming in schools

Dress codes. We’ve all had to deal with them. We’ve all been victim to the hems-below-your-fingertips rule. Straps at least an inch wide.

It’s fair to say that not all students follow dress codes. Whether it’s due to ignorance or blatant insubordination, we can’t always say, but it can push school officials to do or say something offensive.

Noble Public Schools Superintendent Ronda Bass fell into that category when she referred to her female students as “skanks” because of the way they were dressed.

According to a recent Jezebel column, Bass called for an assembly the first day of school at Noble High School in Noble, Okla., where she addressed the multitude of female dress code violations.

Bass claims she first asked how many believed there were female students dressed inappropriately. She said most hands went up.

Strike one. She immediately called out only girls. Girls are the problem, they’re the inappropriate ones. They need to change to meet her standards.

Senior Stephanie Stewart had a different version of what Bass said. “The first question was, ‘Have y’all ever seen any “skanks” around this school?’” Stewart said in an interview with KFOR, a local news station.

And toward the end of her speech, Stewart claims Bass added, “I don’t want to see anyone’s ass hanging out of their shorts.”

Strike two. Bass slut-shamed her students. When interviewed by KFOR, she didn’t even deny those words.

Bass defended herself by saying she heard people from other towns calling the girls at Noble High School such names. Bass used those words to send a message that she didn’t want the girls to be called those names.

She was trying to push the girls to a higher, classier standard by giving them a negative label for their individual style choices. So inspirational.

The following day, Bass performed a dress code check.

She asked only girls to stand up and asked some of them to bend over, claiming, “If you’re not comfortable with bending over, we might have a problem.”

Strike three. Instead of acting like a professional and asking the girls to come to her office to discuss the matter privately, Bass publicly humiliated the teenage girls.

Stewart was reportedly one of the girls singled out. Bass felt her dress was too short. Stewart said many of her friends went home crying, according to the interview.

Bass later sent an email to faculty, telling them the female students were “pushing the limits” and asked them to stay on top of the issue until “a new norm of modesty is established.”

Bass went too far. Her eagerness to protect the reputations of her students borders on what could be considered harassment and stepped over the line of sexism. Nowhere in these reports are males ever addressed. It is purely an issue with girls.

High school students are vulnerable enough. The last thing they need is a school official claiming to do what’s best for them by calling them “skanks” and blaming the girls for the titles strangers give them.

Bass acted innapropriately. She humiliated her students. She demonstrated sexist behavior. She cannot keep her position.

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