A high schooler in Montreal accused her school of "shaming girls for their bodies" after she was suspended for wearing shorts that didn't pass the "fingertip length" test in her school's dress code.
Beaconsfield High School eleventh grader Lindsay Stocker says she felt singled out when two vice principals asked her to change her clothes.
"It was in front of my entire class," she said. "I felt attacked, it was humiliating."
"When I said no they said I was making a bad choice. They kept shaking their heads. In front of everybody. They continued to tell me would be suspended if I didn't start following the rules. When I told them I didn't understand why I had to change they told me that it doesn't matter – I don't have to understand the rules, I just have to comply by them."
She fought back by plastering her school with posters reading,"Don't humiliate her because she is wearing shorts. It's hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects."
Administrators took the signs down quickly, but not before students had shared them on social media and caused a debate about the rule that got her suspended.
The "fingertip rule" bans all students—but, in practice, just girls—from wearing shorts and skirts that don't fall below their fingertips when their arms are at their sides. It was also at the center of a recent incident where a girl was kicked out of prom. Although she hadn't actually violated the rule, the teen was ejected from the dance because her dress allegedly caused "impure thoughts."
Although Stocker did violate the rule, she feels schools need to consider the rationale for the rules, which she feels unfairly make girls responsible for the reactions of their male classmates.
"People are being judged for the way they dress, they have to change because boys look at them," the told the CBC. "The boys should be the ones who have to learn to treat women better and look at them in a different light."
Steven Colpitts, director of the school board that covers Stocker's district, told Canada's Global News that calling students out for the dress code is a "learning situation," not for administrators, but for kids.
"It needs to be clear that this is always an opportunity for the school to make it a learning situation for the students," he said. "To sensitize them about hypersexualization, which is often a topic that is discussed and the students are well aware of."
"She should have known better than wearing those shorts," he added.
Stocker is back in class after serving her one-day suspension.
[H/T ThinkProgress, Photo: Global News]