A dress code PSA from a Texas high school has set the Internet ablaze this week. The video was shown to almost 3,000 students at Marcus High School and was set to M.I.A’s “Bad Girls.” It featured a group of teenage girls, mostly in short shorts, but several others wearing crop tops, sandals, and other clothing that might violate a high school dress code.
The video is fairly creepy in that in only features girls as the “dress code violators,” and they’re brought into a classroom by a school administrator where they’re made to repeat “I will not wear athletic shorts,” several times to answer for their crimes and teach them a lesson.
Today my school was shown this video. So sad how ONLY girls are shown as the violators. I understand why my school has a dresscode, but what about the boys who wear shorts, or show their shoulders? It’s 2018…Why are we still over-sexualizing teen girls? pic.twitter.com/fCXymYAIEG— Cat (@catmoring) August 16, 2018
Several female students, including Catherine Moring and Nicole Hollowell, took to Twitter to voice their criticism of the PSA, which they say “oversexualizes teen girls” and is “clearly sexist.”
Moring’s video on Twitter has received over 250,000 views and 500 comments as of August 22nd.
Moring also stated, “The lyrics ‘bad girls do it well,’ playing behind footage of girls legs in athletic shorts was shocking because it made the implication that by wearing athletic shorts, you were a ‘bad girl’ even though we live in Texas where it is currently 100° outside.”
The principal of the school, Will Skelton, apologized for the video and its lack of diversity in gender and poor song choice in a letter sent to parents:
“Aug. 17, 2018
I apologized to our students regarding this issue today but wanted to reach out and apologize to parents as well. I’m a firm believer that when you make a mistake, you own it, you apologize, and you make it right.
Yesterday we showed a dress code video that featured only female dress code violations, and was accompanied by a poor song choice. Construction in and around the campus prevented us from holding student orientation, which is typically accompanied by a fashion show that demonstrates what to wear, and what not to wear. We believed a video would be a good way to replace the fashion show, but this video absolutely missed the mark.
Please accept my sincere apology for not ensuring our video achieved its intended purpose — to remind ALL students of our dress code expectations.
If you want to visit with me about this or any other concern you may have, my door is always open.
Principal, Marcus High School”
While Marcus High School normally has a fashion show to address correct dress code issues, this was their first year attempting a video. Students and parents alike have spoken out against the PSA, even after the principal’s apology. Administrators are now sitting down with students and working to address the problem and come up with a solution that works for students, parents, and the weather conditions in Texas.