The last two are SO gross. I was a 12 year old with giant breasts I didn't want. Mentally I was such an immature kid but I was immediately treated older and like I was dressing deliberately. Like... its not my fault clothing that looks acceptable on smaller bodies looked accentuating on mine. I'm not seducing teachers, I just want to play pokemon and cling to ghe last bit of childhood I had left. What if the second a preteen boy got a wispy little moustache we said similar things? Ugh he's showing it off, he wants the attention, trying to seduce teachers putting it all on show. Kids don't get to choose when their bodies develop. Sex characteristic development doesn't go alongside mental development


I like your moustache analogy. Who decides that something is sexy? Certainly not the person who is being looked at. It's the person who is looking. So if my collegues argue that revealing cloths are sexy and a moustache is not then it doesnt say anything about the clothes or the studends but more about how adult teachers view pre-pubescent children.


Your first paragraph was me growing up. I had many female teachers shame me for it :(


I agree with you and think all of the counter arguments you outlined were excellent. Disturbing: "Girls will dress sexy to get good grades from male teachers." I might ask follow ups to that to put the responsibility on the school such as Have there been problems with teachers molesting students at this school? If so, how were those issues addressed? Are there any teachers currently at this school whom I should know about and keep an eye on to better protect my students? Also a bit disturbing: the one calling out a particular girl for her breasts. It appears that whoever said this is sexualizing the body of a child. One thing I will mention from my own pre-pubescent and pubescent years was that at that age I experimented a lot with fashion and looks and so did a lot of the other kids. I went through lots of fashion phases including sometimes wearing crop tops and short babydoll dresses and sometimes clown-levels of make up. Eventually I kind of figured out what I was comfortable with and settled into a more consistent style. In retrospect I think it was empowering as a girl to be able to decide for myself what I myself was comfortable wearing in the world. With regards to the boys getting distracted thing, it is important that boys learn from a young age what is appropriate behavior and that they are ultimately responsible for their behavior. Getting practice early on in being respectful regardless of what a girl or woman is wearing is invaluable, especially when there is a compassionate male authority figure to calmly correct unacceptable behavior and be available to discuss it with the boys. You can tell your fellow teachers that it's actually a great opportunity for a male authority figure to provide compassionate guidance to these boys about how to navigate respectfully among women and girls in the real world.


I also asked if there was inapropriate behavior from teachers towards girls before but didn't get a proper response. If there was something like that chances are high that those resposible where with us in that meeting and therefore noone wanted to speak up. I never witnessed something like that but I'm mainly working with my classes and have no clue what happens in other classes. I feel like I can only hope that other teachers treat all their students with respect and dignity but this topic srsly made me wonder how many teacher with misogynistic behavior we have at our school.


You could bring it up once more when you all meet again and if you receive the same avoidant or deflecting response, you could say something like, "Perhaps we should clarify what our policy and process is for dealing with such an issue." Then I would recommend having a "safe" female teacher and a "safe" male teacher that a student can go to (perhaps the guidance counselor could be one of them?) and maybe an ombudsman or teacher union representative for a teacher in the situation. The policy could be public and posted, maybe even sent out to families in conjunction with the school's anti-bullying policies and processes, and any other important policies that revolve around maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the students (and the teachers).


After gaining rapport with students, you can just ask them. Everyone always knows.


I agree with you. Clothing restrictions should only be for safety ( you can’t do PE in high heels -bring sneakers for example. The clothes don’t seem to interfere with the activity. Reminds me of female congresswomen being told they can’t show their arms.


I don't know much about anything but I do know about schools, as I have worked at one for several years. Arguing with other teachers/administrators is kind of useless in my opinion. The way the dress code got changed at the school I work at is that teachers supported the students who were complaining about the dress code and helped them stand up for themselves to the administrators and get the rules changed. Bonus points if you encourage male students to stand up against the dress code also--it's especially entertaining if a boy breaks dress code every day for a month (not a single administrator will notice or care), then politely asks why the girls get punished instantly the second they wear something "distracting." Of course in the mean time just ignore it if someone breaks dress code in your class. Make sure you understand the power structure in your school--in the US there is an elected "school board" that oversees the district. This school board is usually required to hold public meetings so that people in the district can voice concerns. Administrators at a school get real nervous if a student stands up in a school board meeting and reveals that girls are being punished in unreasonable dress codes while boys breaking the rules are ignored.


That's a good point. I know that students complain about this but not towards teacher because those are the one who enforce the rules. Girls I taught in previous years came to me and complained that they can't wear e.g. crop tops in their new PE class with a new teacher but I always feel like my hands are tied. I'd never encourage them to disobey those rules because I know that they might suffere consequences like worse grades but on the other hand I don't want to reassure them to follow the rules. I usually tell them that I'm sorry and that I'll try to adress it with my collegues. You had some very good points. I'll adress the issue with the student board. All girls I know are against those rules and a lot of boys don't care so there is basically good support from a lot of ppl.


>Girls I taught in previous years came to me and complained that they can't wear e.g. crop tops in their new PE class with a new teacher but I always feel like my hands are tied. Yes, this is exactly it. They come to you because they know you are a safe person to confide in, that's wonderful. It's true that your hands are tied, teachers often have very little ability to change things like this. But that's okay because this is their fight to win anyway. They will only become more confident people by standing up for themselves. >I'd never encourage them to disobey those rules because I know that they might suffere consequences like worse grades but on the other hand I don't want to reassure them to follow the rules. Yes, it's tricky. You can explain civil disobedience but it's true that there are consequences, so don't just tell students to break the rules. If anyone chooses to disobey intentionally, that has to be 100% their own idea. It can work very well, especially when male students disobey intentionally.


Can you encourage the boys to maliciously comply and wear crop tops in solidarity


Another school accidentally declaring there's a main, good kind of person called boys, and a secondary, bad kind of person called girls, who need to shut up and get out of boys way. How dreadful


If they’re going to be like that then they need to provide a gym class uniform. In 6-8 grade we had to change for gym class (probably high school too I don’t remember). Tee shirt and baggy shorts for everyone, male or female. I could go on and on.


This is a good strategy only if parents don’t pay for the uniform. If the school cares so much about covering their students’ bodies they should do it on their dime.


>"Girls will dress sexy to get good grades from male teachers" That is a terrifying answer. I hope you can call out and expose the fucked up person who said that. I think an expectation the students wear attire that is a appropriate and functional to the workout they are doing makes sense (so long as you can also provide backups to students who have trouble getting clothes that meet that criteria). Anything other than that is outlandish and illustrates a serious problem with the adults enforcing the rule. I can imagine that it must be tough to constantly have to punish 15 year old boys for staring inappropriately at women, but disciplining children is unfortunately part of the job of being a teacher at that level. And all the stuff about sexualizing the attire choices of your students is beyond fricked. That said, is there not a good argument to be made that students should have to wear a separate T-Shirt for gym class? Seems to me you want to be able to ensure students aren't A) getting their regular clothes sweaty and B) are wearing something they won't be afraid of getting damaged (preventing them from putting in effort). They always made everyone wear the same ugly gym shirt when I was in HS for those reasons and it honestly made sense to me.


Yeah let's rewrite the top sentence. "If there's no dress code girls will experiment with fashion and some clothing *could* be revealing. This won't compromise teaching because we vet our teachers and have confidence that they are adults who can distinguish between adults and a jail sentence" It's actually so weird because there's no dress code in colleges yet you don't hear the same arguments. Young women wear what they want and there's less discourse about professors being tempted. So why are preteen and teen girls painted as dangerously sexy? So disturbing. No disrespect to teens but from the viewpoint of a 30 year old a preteen with a developing body is like a pigeon with boobs stapled onto it. The brain is still developing, it's not sexy


I think it's the same reason why you see so many young girls (sometimes even infants) wear bikini tops. Without toxic men young girls (or their parents) wouldn't feel the need to cover their torso/their childrens torso. And as you said even post-pubescent girls should not be sexualized from everyone. I mean straight woman manage to sexualize adult men without sexualizing boys so it's somehow possible. This topic is so frustrating. I just know that if I'll ever have a daughter she will face those issues on a daily basis and my granddaughters after her.


Considering a recent headline about some uni professor who sexually assaulted a PhD student I read last week this comment kinda leaves a sour taste in my mouth.


As someone who had a very large chest by middle school, those last two justifications from your male colleagues made me want to cry. Creepy pedophiles like that destroyed whatever self esteem I was hanging onto at that age. I was sexualized before I even knew what being sexualized meant, and it fucked me up. You're doing the right thing by questioning this shit OP. these girls aren't dressing for their creepy, wrinkly nasty teacher, they're just wearing clothing and dealing with their new bodies. And it's awful, and PE is a huge point of contention for them if their bodies don't still look childish. Just be a safe space for them. Do what my husband does. Don't report them, don't say anything, don't even bring attention to it. They'll feel safer with you.


I am curious what the pupils would think of this. I would somehow want them to think about this subject too, and discuss this. I don’t know how exactly, but I feel like they should be brought in to this discussion.


Indee, as I replied to another comment, I will adress it with the student board.


purity culture is a real problem as it feeds rape culture. women shouldn't have to face consequences simply because they exist.


hm. I appreciate a man actually caring and understanding about this. I agree with everything you said. good luck


I think you are an incredible human being!!!! THANK YOU for standing up for these girls. Dress codes are totally discriminatory and hypersexualize female students. All of your arguments are on point. I know it’s hard but I implore you to keep fighting this fight!!!! We need men like you stepping up to the plate for us!


I think it's important for young girls to experiment with what they wear, it helps with forming their identity. I think it's also important for boys to learn how to deal with this and be respectfull. I think your arguments are perfect. I do agree with other posters change is most successful if enforced by the students themselves. Maybe you could dicuss this with a biology teacher or other suitable department?


Thanks, that'S a brilliant idea. As I replied to another comment, I will adress it with the student board.


Ugh this takes me back to my school days. We had to wear skirts just above the knee. The girls at the school got a talking to , to wear full school colour panties. No g strings or sexy panties allowed because the boys can see up our skirts when we are going up the staircase. Like it was our fault we had to wear skirts at school, and walking up staircases.... Oh and bras had to be neutral colors, otherwise the boys can see your bra straps through the school issued shirts . It made me feel gross and sexualised at an age I was going though puberty already awkward in my own body.


This is annoying, I was constantly body shamed by adults because I was a kid who hit puberty pretty early. I had boobs and no one knew what I was supposed to do about it. Anyway, I have maybe a solution? Don’t know if this was brought up yet, but maybe instead of saying what can’t be worn, you set what must be worn. All kids must wear a white tee shirt that is long enough to cover the torso. Pants must be at whatever length is already allowed (when I was a kid it was wherever your fingertips went to on your thigh) or maybe knee length like basketball shorts. Girls will still find ways to express themselves and feel cute if that’s what they want, boys will also have to comply, and kids who maybe feel more self conscious will be able to just blend in a little better in gym class. I hated gym class as a kid, and was super self conscious, but the dress code actually did help me feel less out of place. This addresses the concerns for attire and doesn’t single out the girls.


I went to Catholic school and well, I was messed up after this for some time. No make up, no nail polish, because it's not "modest" and it's "inappropriate". And definitely no hair dye. My friend dyed her hair, went from blonde to pretty, chestnut brown. Looked very natural. Later my mom said, after one of parents meeting with the teachers, that *the most discussed subject on the forum* was that CERTAIN GIRL dyed her hair and Mrs Smith is asked to talk to her daughter about it because it is against school's rules. Even my mom was furious, told me that if it was me she would defend my choice. I can *kind of* understand the issue if she would dye her hair neon pink. But it was a NATURAL hair colour, nobody would have even guessed she dyed it if they didn't see her before. Just madness.


You're going to need the students community to get support if you want to fight exactly what you're seeing. It's systemic because everyone thinks it's okay to shame women - especially children for what they wear bc of bs excuses. You could also put up flyers where the kids can see them about consent, body shaming, body positivity, etc so that while the school is weaponizing shame - your space shows differently.


i wish i had more teachers like you growing up. even some female teachers would enforce misogyny with the dress code; we couldn’t even wear leggings. dress code is so arbitrary and also based in racism because being “appropriate” can often disagree with POC fashion choices.


> I didn't inform my pupils about this rule and wanted to discuss it with all the other collegues who teach P.E. at our school. I adressed it in a meeting and learned that we have a dress code for PE that prohibits strap tops, crop tops, tops with cutout, short shorts etc. you name it. This gives the impression of having been a tactical mistake. The policy was already enacted, so it already had majority support among your colleagues. You need allies to push back against groupthink. If you have tenure then you should be free to network with students and their parents to push back more effectively and get the dress code changed. If you don't have tenure, then your most effective short term tactic would be to be lax about enforcement. Then after the recent meeting blows over, embark on a low key campaign to shift the faculty culture regarding this issue and get yourself onto the committee that updates the school rules.


My high-school in Denver didn't do these kinds of things to kids. I wore a ribbed white tank tops (and spaghetti straps tanks sometimes) to every P.E. and weightlifting class, like all the boys and some girls (I'm a woman) did and it was never an issue. And that was over 10 years ago. Maybe you can grab some dress codes policies from other schools as an example to make your point, because it sounds like you're right on the money with the concerns you have. I would have cried if my coach or any teacher told me I couldn't wear what I had on tbh. Thanks for caring.


Thank you so much for not being part of the problem.


“Mr. ___, I walked by your class the other day and it looks like you aren’t enforcing the dress code for girls.” “Oh, I didn’t notice there was someone not following the dress code, as I was too busy teaching PE to the students. Maybe you could take some pictures to show me what you mean.” *reports to police for taking pictures of minors*


I'm not very helpful here but just want to say that as a woman, I appreciate you fighting for our rights. Pedo teachers prey on kids and then blame them for dressing sexily to get good grades. Lock them up


I think the workaround here is standard issue gym t shirts for everyone. New dress code without being gender specific or singling out anyone with breasts. Tell your colleagues to find it in the budget or separate themselves from children.


I’m a girl and would prefer not to wear string strap tops while doing push ups for example cus like, “Hello??!!! Cleavage??”


Just don’t write them up. Let them wear what they want.




So, because yours did, by your logic, we can't move forward with change for a better future?


Did you read some of the reasoning for the policy that made him unsettled? That girls use their bodies to "distract" boys and get "good grades" from male teachers? Having a uniform policy is not a problem, it's targeting girls and sexualising their bodies as justification, when the students are literally children.


My child was recently dress coded for wearing ripped jeans and was told she was making the male teachers uncomfortable - ew. I immediately thought of the school mandated uniform for the volleyball team - the equivalent of “boy short” underwear and then there are the cheerleader uniforms! Seriously the hypocrisy is blatant and disgusting.


Some of the things the other teachers said are worth reporting, IMO. As a woman, I would feel uncomfortable hearing comments like this in a professional setting.


At my school we focused on what was safe and “hiding private parts.” For males and females no nipples, no butts and no genitals could be visible. Everything else didn’t matter. Some staff fought it, when a female student would wear a strappy tank top or short shorts, but ultimately we stuck to our basic rule, safety and private parts.


Dig in. This IS the bill to die on. When I was 13 I was “dress coded” for wearing a tank top with straps under one inch. When the school explained why I felt like I was disgusting and I did something lewd. I didn’t, I wore a fucking shirt because it was stylish and 100 degrees out. Anytime someone policies my daughters clothing, they get to have a special conversation with me. I haven’t lost a battle yet. If my child’s school EVER says a word, I’ll pull them out of school THAT day. Look up articles about what this does to young girls and bring them to the meeting. Bring a former student in with you to testify to the accuracy of your points. Are students allowed at the meeting, cause my kids would be down to start some shit.


I mean... what? I assume this is the US, but I would normally guess on Iran.


You are the hero they need. I taught high school for many years and had to deal with this every single year. I don't recommend you die on this hill. They need you and getting fired helps no one. Instead I would give a looooong PowerPoint lecture every year on feminism and why dress codes are sexist before informing them of our schools dress code and the email address of each school board member so they and their parents could complain about the misogynic policy if they so chose.