A high school student was sent home for wearing a long-sleeve top and skirt with tights, which her school deemed "inappropriate," and has picked up support for speaking out against its treatment of female students on social media.
17-year old Emily, who also has a YouTube channel about studying, social issues, nerd culture, and comic books, tweeted a photo of her outfit this morning with a caption explaining that she had "just been sent home from sixth form [high school] by a 50-year-old man for wearing this."
Many other students — all of whom were female — were sent home for wearing similarly modest outfits, while "boys in tight trousers or Dr Marten boots were fine," she said. Despite wearing black tights and flat shoes, Emily was told she would have to go home "unless [she] could pull my skirt down to two fingers above my knees."
Emily went on to explain her outrage in an eloquent series of tweets that followed: "This man told me that I looked inappropriate. He said that they needed to raise standards. The average person at my school didn't even get GCSE maths and English. I got 8 A*'s. I single handedly raised the standards and contributed to society and he thinks it's okay to call me inappropriate. The audacity," she wrote.
"I make YouTube videos to RAISE GCSE STANDARDS. I'm on the student parliament to RAISE SCHOOL STANDARDS. I am a feminist to RAISE SOCIETAL STANDARDS and yet here I am at home being denied an education," she continued. "Among the people being sent home was a girl who is aiming to go to OXFORD. This is from a school that failed its Ofsted and is considered badly by the surrounding area. I've tried so hard to defend my school and the people in it but today I realised that I mean NOTHING to them."
Emily, who is from the south-east of England, said that while she was angry at how she'd been treated she didn't want her school to be named, because "there are lots of great and caring teachers" who she didn't "want to throw under the bus."She believed the school appears to think its actions are "as simple as a dress code" and doesn't realize the sexist implications of sending only female students home when it could be argued that male students don't adhere to its "ambiguous" smart business dress code.
Many people replied to Emily's tweet with support and praise for her bravery in speaking out against the school's seemingly sexist enforcement of its dress code.
Referring to sexism, Emily, who is currently studying politics, said she's hoping to study the subject at university "so that [she] can go on and write the stuff that gets this changed," adding that she "can't do that if they're going to send me home for my freaking skirt length." If the activists, politicians, and journalists of the future are anything like her, change might — finally — be around the corner.