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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I'm Not Feelin' 22, But I'll Make The Most Of It

The reality of becoming another year older and the stress that it may bring.

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Birthdays are all about being the center of attention, - birthday wishes from friends and family, and celebrating another milestone in your life. People go out of their way to buy party favors, set up parties, and buy gifts just to make someone feel special on their birthday. However, some people dread their special day because of anxiety and depression. This past weekend was my 22ndbirthday, and although I'm usually excited for my birthday, this was the birthday I had been dreading.

Birthdays are inevitable. Once you reach past the age of 21, everything seems to go downhill, or at least I think so. Once I realized I was going to be 22 last Sunday, I realized the new responsibilities and norms that come with turning this age. I am a Junior at the University of Arizona, should be a senior, and most of my friends are younger than me. With most of my friends graduating this year at the age of 22, I can't help but feel bad that I will be graduating at the age of 23. After being at a large university for three years, I have felt "behind" because of my age and academic standing. Being the oldest of my friends brings a sense of anxiety out in me and pressure that I should be graduated by now.

Another issue I have with birthdays at this age is the expectation of certain milestones that I have not accomplished yet. With social media being such a large part of our society today, seeing so many different people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posting pictures of what they are doing every second of the day, it's hard not to feel bad if you are not up to par with others lives. Some people are having babies, while others are going to medical school, where do I fit in?

Although birthdays bring some sense of negativity to me, I think that they should be celebrated in a positive light. My best friend, Colleen, knew I was feeling down about my birthday and wanted to help me feel better about turning the big 2-2. She bought balloons, silly string, and letter banners just to decorate our apartment to make me feel excited about the day. She bought me the most unique presents that only a best friend would know I would have wanted. At the end of the day, we went to my favorite restaurant and with the help of Colleen, my day had turned around.

While you may catch the birthday blues at some point in your lifetime, there are ways to change your attitude on the day. You may hear from someone from the past wishing you a happy birthday that can make you smile, or receive a gift from a family or friend that you had your eye on in the store and they knew you had to have it. Don't compare yourself to others when it comes to birthday plans, live the day how you would like and spend it with the people that matter most to you.

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