Assistant Principal to HS Girls: 'Ladies, I Still Blame You for Boys’ Low Grades'

Assistant Principal to HS Girls: 'Ladies, I Still Blame You for Boys’ Low Grades'

Telling girls that their clothing hinders someone else’s education or actions is senseless.
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It’s the first week of classes at Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas, an affluent city of about 80,000 near the southeast corner of the state. The juniors, now proud upperclassmen, excitedly filled the auditorium seats to hear their administrative staff and faculty welcome them back. Or so they thought…

On August 24th, 2016, Assistant Principal Phil Morgante pledged his case in support of the high school’s dress code policy by perpetuating misogynistic stereotypes which were offensive to young women and young men. In an audio recorded by one of the students, Morgante can be heard saying, “Now girls, I know you are trying to work on your abs since the Olympics, right? But your shirts can’t be up here, it’s gotta cover the whole gut. So, cover up… um. Let’s see…ripped clothing; why would you spend (unclear mumbling).”



Towards the end, he states, “Ladies, I still blame you all for boys’ low grades because of tight clothing.” Students confirmed that the audio started after Morgante made the initial comment about male students already having trouble studying and how the girls’ tight clothing only made it worse.

Many students immediately took this to social media to express their outrage on the issue. The names in the following pictures are censored to keep the girls anonymous.



Morgante, who has been part of the Fort Bend ISD in Texas for 25 years, unintentionally promoted a culture that constantly blames women for actions of men. This culture is just as insulting to men because it implies that they are incapable of controlling their actions. While the principal of the school, David Yaffie, apologized the next day on Morgante’s behalf, the problem remains: there are too many school administrations who share this view.

Clements High School is one of the top 100 high school in Texas, and kids from this school end up in universities all over the nation. The fact that the boys are being taught so young that a girl’s clothes justifies what men do to them is beyond alarming. Just a few days ago, 18-year old David Becker, who sexually assaulted two unconscious girls, was let free because the judge wanted him to “enjoy a college experience.” What about the college experience of the girls who were left scarred for life by his actions? Apparently, that didn’t matter all that much just so long Becker didn’t have to endure the “stigma of being a registered sex offender,” as his lawyer casually stated.

When between 20 and 25 percent women are sexually assaulted on college campuses, it really does matter what one faculty member says in one high school assembly. The ideology behind victim blaming is not innate, it is taught. Women are constantly told to not walk outside late, not wear revealing clothes, watch how much you drink. Yet men are never repeatedly told one simple thing: don’t rape. Why is it that it is always women who must look out for themselves? People never tell victims of robbery that it was their fault to have cash or tell victims of car crashes to not drive on the street…I understand that there is nothing wrong with taking precautions; however, telling girls that their clothing hinders someone else’s education or actions is senseless.

Apart from accusing the girls, another disturbing aspect of Morgante’s comments were that he assumed that boys do not possess the self-control to focus on their studies rather than looking at the girls’ “tight clothing.” Our society tends to give men less credit than they deserve when it comes to them doing the right thing. If boys in high school are old enough to work jobs and understand complex game plans, then they are more than capable of focusing on their own work without getting distracted.

Cliché statements such as “boys will be boys” prevents young men from accepting their responsibilities and owning up to their actions. One bothered male student tweeted the following in agreement to his female classmate.

It is obvious that boys and girls alike agree that holding girls and their clothing responsible for boys’ low grades is ridiculous. While the majority of the new generation shares this consensus, the issue lies within the mentality of older people who then corrupt developing minds with their faulty reasoning. Fortunately, Clements High School’s students speaking out against their assistant principal resulted in the situation being addressed. If other students, teachers, parents can all unite against this stereotype, then maybe as a community we can eradicate the roots of victim blaming and rape culture.

Tell us what you think about the story on social media using the hashtag #LadiesIBlameYou.

UPDATE: As a result of this story, the local school board has released this statement:

"During assemblies last week, when speaking about the dress code, a Clements High School administrator made comments that were inappropriate and offensive to students. These comments should not have been made, and do not represent the beliefs of Fort Bend ISD or the Clements administrative team or faculty."

"The comments were a failed attempt at humor and inappropriate. Following concerns expressed by students, the Clements principal took prompt action to address the comments and apologized to the student body. We have high expectations for both students and staff at Clements High School and throughout Fort Bend ISD. Our goal is to provide a safe, positive learning environment where all students feel supported and valued. Please know this situation is being addressed, and appropriate actions will be taken."

Cover Image Credit: Fort Bend ISD

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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