Society

6th-Grader Stands Up To 'Sexist' School Dress Code

| by Michael Doherty
Molly Neuner said a teacher measured her clothes to make sure they fit the dress code.Molly Neuner said a teacher measured her clothes to make sure they fit the dress code.

A Maine sixth-grader is making headlines after taking a stand against her school's dress code, which she called "unfair and sexist."

Molly Neuner, 11, has spoken out against the dress code at King Middle School, which prohibits girls from wearing "short or tight-fitting skirts or shorts, (no shorter than finger-tip length) [and] thin strapped, revealing tops," KNTV reports.

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At a meeting, two teachers reportedly told students that the dress code was in place because girls' clothes could be a "distraction" to boys.

According to Molly, a teacher measured the width of her tank top's straps and the length of her friend's shorts in front of a class, which Molly said made them feel "uncomfortable."

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"I was really embarrassed, I kind of just wanted to get out of the classroom as soon as I could because it was really uncomfortable to be in an environment like that at the time," Molly told Scary Mommy. "I had never been called out like that in front of everyone before."

The same teacher reportedly approached Molly during lunch to ask her to put on a sweatshirt. Christina Neuner, Molly's mother, said that her daughter called her after school, "really upset" about the incident.

"It was around 70 degrees that day," said Christina, adding: "The school has no air conditioning and some of the classes have no windows."

After she told her mother about what had happened, Christina showed Molly the "I am not a distraction" hashtag on Instagram. Molly said that the hashtag inspired her to do something about her school's dress code.

"The minute I saw that, I knew that's what I wanted to do," said Molly.

Molly wore a tank top to school and wrote "I am not a distraction" in marker on her arm. Some of the other girls in her class also reportedly joined in the protest.

Officials at King Middle School have reportedly decided to review the dress code policy. The school will take input from students at the end of the school year so that it can make "smart adjustments," according to Superintendent Xavier Botana.

While Neuner said that she wishes the dress code changes would happen sooner, she was glad that the school listened to her. She said that she felt empowered to receive positive comments from other students around the world.

"It just felt so empowering to know that other girls have looked up to me, and that they are going through this," said the 11-year-old. "Now they have another reason to stand up for themselves."

Sources: KNTV, Scary Mommy / Photo Credit: Jamie/Flickr

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