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Wearing make-up and hitching up skirts is unfair on MALE TEACHERS - Y10 girls told.

(176 Posts)
Spidermama Thu 26-Sep-13 10:36:01

DD - just about to turn 15 - tells me a special assembly was called at her school to tell Y10 girls that their attitude to school uniform is appalling and influencing the Y7. (Personally I think they all look very smart on the whole and don't see many uniform crimes apart from a very small handful of girls).

She came home hurt at being shouted at en masse in this way (there are 11 classes per year in her school so year 10 girls constituted as large group).

She says the comments were very personal. Words like 'pathetic' were used but most worryingly of all for me was the comment about how the way they're dressing is unfair on male teachers.

Am I right to feel the need to bring this up with the school?

mummycat0 Thu 26-Sep-13 10:42:19

Yes absolutely, what a ridiculous thing to say. How are you supposed to feel knowing that you send your daughter to a school whose teachers are potential rapists/ sexual assaulters? Surely that's the only implication.

JustBecauseICan Thu 26-Sep-13 10:45:06

Is the implication possibly that a male teacher who finds himself in class with a group of 15 yr olds with their skirts taken up might feel awkward and that he might be accused of looking, when he isn't?

That, tbh, is the way I would interpret it. Not that the male teachers would be looking, but that they are being put in an awkward position?

Spidermama Thu 26-Sep-13 10:45:16

That's what I thought mummycat0. It also puts the responsibility for a potential loss of control or lapse in right-thinking from the man onto the young teenager he's teaching. The two teachers who held this special assembly were both women by the way.

JustBecauseICan Thu 26-Sep-13 10:46:22

I would ask for clarification though, because if it is that they think male teachers will be getting an eyeful then it is the sort of crass comment similar to the one on the thread about the Cabaret Headteacher....

NoComet Thu 26-Sep-13 10:48:48

No you are not wrong to complain, it's utterly wrong to say that sort of thing and very insulting to the male teachers.

Also, if this is a mixed school, totally appalling if such things are being said in general assembly with the boys present.

There was a long thread recently about a very similar comment about girls skirt length distracting the boys, I can't remember the title to search.

TeenAndTween Thu 26-Sep-13 10:51:35

Well, speaking as a parent of a y10 girl....

I think you and mummycat0 are overreacting. It is not the only implication to say that the teachers are potential rapists / sexual assaulters.

It is fair to say that maybe the male teachers feel awkward / embarassed walking up the stairs behind 15 year old girls showing off their underware due to their short skirts.
Or that maybe in drama lessons similar issues may apply when acting.

The girls need to understand that there are dress codes in all sorts of places in life, and that school expects a certain standard.
If they want to wear short skirts / whatever out of school, that is up to them.

pooka Thu 26-Sep-13 10:52:18

Difficult one.

Can see absolutely your point.

At the same time, I do think that there should be sound and clear-cut rules about appropriate dress for girls AND boys. I do remember when I was at school there being cringeworthy lessons with poor music teacher who was targeted (discussed before lesson by some girls about what they were going to do) which mostly seemed to involve them undoing the top buttons of their shirts and pulling skirts up before exaggerated pencil dropping and bending over. He was not remotely interested in them. Nor they in him. It was quite aggressive. They were trying to make him uncomfortable. 15 year olds.

It made me think at the time that it was much harder for the male teachers than the women teachers at the all-girls school. None of the teachers ever behaved inappropriately by the way.

Spidermama Thu 26-Sep-13 10:52:31

OK thanks Starball I'll look that up.
Good point about it being insulting to male teachers too and one which I'll add in the letter I'm drafting.

Was that thread very recent? In the last year?

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 10:53:53

"Is the implication possibly that a male teacher who finds himself in class with a group of 15 yr olds with their skirts taken up might feel awkward and that he might be accused of looking, when he isn't? "

Well, it could be interpreted like that- but so what? It's still putting responsibility for male behaviour onto the girls. Outrageous.

But make sure you've got all the facts before you go in all guns blazing- it might be selective reporting.....

YoureBeingADick Thu 26-Sep-13 10:55:17

Are minutes taken at assemblies?

Fucking disgraceful btw- i would be livid.

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 10:55:49

Wow- only 7 posts before somebody said the OP was over reacting! Is that a Mumsnet record?

Spidermama Thu 26-Sep-13 10:57:29

Pooka, TeenandTween and JustBecause - I see your point but I still think it's imperative not to put forward any implication that the students are to blame if the men are uncomfortable. Surely that's just one of the challenges you have to accept if you teach teenagers.

It was also the huge public dressing down of an entire year using personaol and sexist language which riled me and dd. Surely it's better to have a quiet word with the actual offenders - and as far as I can see there are only a small handful of them.

DD felt humiliated and offended. I don't think they'd talk to male pupils about making women teachers uncomfortable with the flouting of uniform rules would they? And male students - like their female counterparts - are just trying to look good and cool or whatever.

eddiemairswife Thu 26-Sep-13 10:59:25

I know a couple of male teachers who have said that they have had to be careful where they look when going upstairs.

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 26-Sep-13 11:02:00

Hmm I don't think the school are wrong to say "we expect your skirts to be minimum of x length" as someone said if the skirts are really short then walking up stairs or during drama they may be showing more than the teachers (male or female) wish to see.

if it were said the way your daughter said then that is unacceptable - but I know my son (year 8) often has his own spin on what has actually been said.

Spidermama Thu 26-Sep-13 11:03:19

Bluesky the teacher did say it's particularly unfair on male staff. That's what I'm quibbling about. That and the personal nature of the en masse telling off.

I have no issue with the enforcing of uniform rules since they're there.

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 26-Sep-13 11:03:20

I am sure there are times when boys are spoken to about making female teachers uncomfortable.

YoureBeingADick Thu 26-Sep-13 11:06:43

Surely men would avert their eyes no matter where they were if a woman walked upstairs in front of them with a short skirt! Why would it put teachers in an uncomfortable position anymore than out in the supermarket or at the bank or in a restaurant? Men have to manage their eyes and their responses out in public so why is it up to the girls to 'protect' the adult men when its in a school?

KittiesInsane Thu 26-Sep-13 11:07:26

Surely they could go with the generic 'No underwear to be on show, thank you very much', which covers saggy-arsed boys, skirt-belt girls and even obvious bra straps?

BushCricket Thu 26-Sep-13 11:07:37

So if they are showing their knickers in class when seated - which I have seen a female teacher describe on here not so long ago - you would defend that?
My DD rolls her skirt and she is almost certainly one of the least offenders. I know I don't get to see how she wears it in school as she adjusts it again - she isn't stupid.
You are unlikely to see the 'uniform crimes' so perhaps the teachers are best placed to judge?
Re the comments about male teachers - it wasn't being used to excuse any behaviour or even thoughts - just pointing out that male teachers may find it more uncomfortable to be faced with than female ones.

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 26-Sep-13 11:08:04

Personally I would contact them and say "have I got it right that you said x,y z as my daughter came home distressed as she felt you were implying she is inappropriately dressed"

At the risk of stirring up a hornets nest (in which case i'm not getting involved) could this be a cultural/religous issue i.e. are the teachers from a culture or religion where what is considered dressing modestly differ from the norm where you are.

I did go through a town when the comp came out a while back and I was shocked by how short the girls skirts were, ours had to be double the length grin but then I am going back a while!!

YoureBeingADick Thu 26-Sep-13 11:08:26

And where is the consideration for lesbian teachers? Does it put them in an uncomfortable position?

Ooh im getting really angry now!

ExcuseTypos Thu 26-Sep-13 11:21:40

I have 2 DDs and would go ballistic if they came home and said a teacher has said those things.

I would definitely complain.

ExcuseTypos Thu 26-Sep-13 11:23:55

I must say, on the few occasions where things have been said about the length of skirts at my DDs school, they have always been along the lines of 'health and safety'hmm grin.

I'm not sure how it apples but I think the teachers don't know wuite how to phrase these things!

ExcuseTypos Thu 26-Sep-13 11:24:27


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