Melissa McKinlay, a mum and the Palm Beach County Mayor in Florida, wrote an open letter to her teenage daughter's high school on Sept. 13 after she was asked to leave class because she was violating the dress code by wearing a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee. Although Melissa acknowledged that breaking the dress code is never a good play, she took issue with an administrator's reasoning behind it.
"In the middle of a quiz in her IB History class, a male administrator came to classroom, told her she needed to consider the guys in her class and their hormones when choosing her wardrobe, yanked her out of class and threw her into in-school suspension for the remainder of the day," wrote Melissa in a Facebook post. "So she missed an entire day of core classes and couldn't finish her quiz."
"Why should she have to worry about dressing a certain way to curtail a boy's potential behaviour?"
While Melissa believes that her daughter could have chosen a different pair of pants for the day, her inquiry into why the dress code violation has anything to do with the male student population's self-control is a good one.
"I'm sorry but EXCUSE ME? Perhaps she should have worn a different pair of jeans," said Melissa. "But why should she have to worry about dressing a certain way to curtail a boy's potential behaviour? So, like, it's her fault if the boy touches her because of what she was wearing? A boy's potential inability to control his hormones warrants my daughter's inability to attend her classes today and miss valuable curriculum? A male administrator yanked her out of a classroom because of a damn KNEE? Did he pull the boys out who were wearing shorts? They have TWO knees showing?"
Obviously, there's a serious problem with treating young women this way, and Melissa dove into why that is.
"Sexism. Victim blaming. Girl shaming," she said, adding that, "This administrator should be suspended . . . I'd like to think [my daughter's] intelligence and quick wit, beautiful smile, and wicked sense of humour might. Her knee? . . . If she needs a lunch detention for being slightly out of dress code, so be it. But this? No. Not an appropriate response. EVER."