Twitter didn't hold back when an arguably sexist dress code video for a Texas high school made its rounds recently. The 3,000 students of Flower Mound's Marcus High School were shown a controversial clip on their second day of classes, WFAA reported. That clip, which has since gone viral and has garnered 255,000 views to date, features female students who are being discouraged them from wearing athletic shorts to school.
The video kicks off to the M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls" song, while a group of female high school students walk through the school halls wearing shorts. Ultimately, they cross paths with a school official who sends them to a classroom labeled "dress code violators" where they recite the phrase: "I will not wear athletic shorts" over and over.
Much to many students' (and Twitter users') dismay, the video doesn't show any male students.
Senior Catherine Moring posted the video on her Twitter account, captioned: "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?”
In a statement to WFAA, Moring reportedly said, “This is oversexualization. We're not okay with this, we're not going to just let it happen and sit on the sidelines."
Naturally, Twitter users chimed in. When one user asked why the girls in the video participated, Moring replied, "They had to be in the video as part of their student council duties! they’re all smart, educated girls who don’t agree with the opinions shown in the video."
One Twitter user commented: "Right!? Or maybe focus on teaching men and boys to not act like caveman who can’t focus is a kneecap walks passed them? Where’s that video, the mutual respect and dignity one?"
Another expressed her shock that, nearly four decades since she's been in high school, dress codes haven't changed. She wrote: "Omg! I couldn’t wear shorts in the 1980’s, but today?!!! Every single girl in that school needs to wear shorts one day, and the next, and the next. Plan it!! This is beyond ridiculous."
Principal Will Skelton issued a public apology for students and parents, according to WFAA.
"I apologized to our students regarding this issue today, but wanted to reach out and apologize to parents as well," he wrote, WFAA reported. "I'm a firm believer that when you make a mistake, you own it, you apologize, and you make it right."
In the letter, Skelton admitted that the video "absolutely missed the mark" and apologized for "not ensuring [the] video achieved its intended purpose — to remind ALL students of [the school's] dress code expectations."
In a follow-up Twitter thread, Moring said that she and Mr. Skelton had an important conversation about the issues in the video and that he "was fully understanding of where the offended female student body was coming from." She also noted that the issues extend far beyond the four walls of her high school and that she feels "so blessed to attend a school so willing to listen to what [she] had to say."
"It exists in schools across the nation," she tweeted. "If we work on better educating both students, and adults about how necessary it is to include diversity in all media put out by the school, along with the reality of the continuing existence of rape culture, we can ensure that problems like this never happen again."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.