One high school administrator in Fort Bend County, Texas is arguing that the tight clothing worn by female students distracts male students enough to cause them to receive lesser grades.
Clements High School assistant principal Phil Morgante requested that female students stop wearing crop tops or tight clothing at a school assembly held last week. Morgante told the students that such clothing acts as a distraction for the male students.
“Ladies, I know you’ve been working on your abs since the Olympics, right? But your shirts can’t be up here. It’s gotta cover the whole gut… Ladies, I blame you all for boys’ low grades because of tight clothing,” said Morgante.
His comments were recorded by a student and later uploaded to SoundCloud by Odyssey, the website that originally broke the story.
Students immediately took to social media to speak out against the comments made by Morgante. User Elizaveta posted “I’m sorry my shoulder made your son get an F,” while others shared their anger, stating that his comments are teaching teenagers that girls can be blamed for boys being unable to focus during school hours, adding that he “insisted rape culture on us,” said student Piper Cotton.
Em, a junior at Clements High School, said, “He made it seem like girls are just in school as a distraction for boys, when in reality, our education is just as important as theirs.”
Meanwhile, other students felt that Morgante had the right to enforce the dress code at the school, but did not go about doing so in a proper way. Male students should have been held accountable for their own behavior and academic performance, they said.
Nidhi Prakash writes for Fusion that not only do his comments suggest that men can be led down a different path by women, but they also imply that girls in school are getting in the way of the education of men with the implication that men’s education is considered to be more important.
In response to the incident, Fort Bend Independent School District released a statement saying that the comments made by Morgante should not have been made and do not represent the beliefs held by the district, the Clements administrative team, or faculty members. They added that the comments were meant to be a joke, but did not go over as such, writes Kristine Solomon for Yahoo.
“We have high expectations for both students and staff. Our goal is to provide a safe, positive learning environment where all students feel supported and valued.”
No statement on the incident has been released by Morgante as of yet.
A similar incident occurred almost one week ago in Victoria, Australia. A high school there was given media attention after blaming the short skirts worn by female students for the school having been placed on a porn-sharing website. In the end, one student came forward to defend not only herself, but all the students at the school.
Clements high school is one of the top 100 high schools in the state, boasting a high rate of placing students at universities across the country.