Stuff

Students: Wear Baggy Clothes To Deter Paedophiles

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Parents of schoolchildren at King’s Park Secondary School in Glasgow are being urged not to dress their kids in short skirts and tight trousers to deter paedophiles (the warning is connected to the recent conviction of a local paedophile).

We believe that an appropriate school uniform (eg school trousers, knee-length school shirt etc) protects children from being targeted by sexual predators,” wrote head teacher Margaret Barr in a letter to parents. “We must do all we can to keep our children safe. A modest school uniform is more appropriate than fashion skirts, trousers or tops.”

While I commend the school for keeping parents informed about such a scary situation, it’s shocking to me that anyone – let alone an entire school board (or whomever okay-ed the letter) – would make a connection between clothing and paedophilia. It sends the message that kids, and how they choose to dress, are somehow “asking for it” when it comes to sexual predators (as if clothes are even relevant!).

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. Eileen Prior, chief executive of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said that “creating a link between school uniform and paedophilia seems to be a dangerous unhelpful one for everyone involved. It implies that young people are in some way responsible for the activities of paedophiles, which is an extremely dangerous argument and one which has echoes of the comments sometimes made around rapists and women’s dress.”

My thoughts exactly. When I first read the news, I thought of an article we published early last week about one mother who plans to bring her 9-year-old daughter to SlutWalk (a protest in response to a Toronto police officer who said that to avoid being sexually victimized, don’t dress like a slut). This Glasgow school is essentially telling its young students (kids!) the same thing. It’s a dangerous message to be sending.

(Photo: Stockbyte)