In a move to avoid the distraction of male students and teachers, teenage girls at a New Zealand high school have reportedly been told to lengthen their skirts below the knee level.
Around 40 students in year 11 at Henderson high school in Auckland were called to a meeting and told by Deputy Principal Cherith Telford that their skirts would need to be lowered to knee level.
The decision comes after a uniform inspection by the School Principal. Telford said the move was designed to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff”.
“Basically we were told that the skirts needed to be lowered to below our knees or we would be given detention after school,” said a School girl.
The comments have caused outrage among many students, parents and feminist commentators.
“I am very annoyed by this,” said Deborah Russell, a feminist commentator and lecturer at Massey University. “It sends a message that young women are responsible for young men’s sexual behaviour, and also sends a bad message to young men that their sexual behavior is uncontrollable,” she said.
“We know that victim blaming is very common and this is a clear example of the responsibility on the girls to be responsible for their own safety,” Tohill said.