Is the PE dress code sexist?

Mya Roberts, Reporter

On Feb. 21, during freshman Shayla Bowers’ PE class, a teacher made a comment on the clothes that she was wearing. Jada Rash, a student in the same class was with Bowers when the comments were made.

“[the teacher] said, ‘You can’t wear the leggings because they hug your body too tight and the boys get too distracted,’” Bowers stated.

Rash said that one day she decided not to wear her uniform because she was cold and uncomfortable. The same teacher who made a comment about Bowers’ body said something about Rash’s body as well.

“[The teacher] told us it was because boys couldn’t control themselves…” Rash stated. 

According to Bowers, [the teacher] didn’t stop making comments about the lady’s bodies and clothes.

“…[the teacher] continued to make sexist comments to us ladies about it. We decided to wear leggings and [they] got upset and basically slut shamed us…” Bowers stated.

These comments made Rash very upset that [the teacher] was saying these things to her and other students.

“I was all around just upset about what [the teacher] said,” Rash expressed.

Bowers was equally upset about the situation.

I felt that I shouldn’t be taught to hide myself because of what [the teacher] was saying. I also felt that what [they] said was completely inappropriate and cruel to tell a young woman,” Bowers said.

Both ladies felt uncomfortable with the comments and the uniforms made for PE classes. After the comments, they felt like they had to do something about it.

“We decided we had to do something not only because of the comments but because of the general discomfort with the shorts,” Bowers said.

They took the issue to the school board to try and find alternate options for the gym dress code.

We are talking to the school board trying to find alternate options for the shorts and make a change for the dress code mainly in the gym,” Bowers expressed. 

Rash wanted the dress code to be made more practical for the ladies.

“We are trying to get more wearable shorts for girls or maybe try to be able to bring our own pants,” Rash stated.

Rash and Bowers, along with another student, came up with an idea to start a petition. They felt like if they get a high number of people to show that they cared about this topic, things may start to change.

The petition went out so that we could get numbers in case we needed them or just to show the administration how many people care about this issue. we could also use the numbers to help us change the dress code in general,” Bowers stated.

With this petition Rash wants to show that they don’t just want to disobey the rules, they actually care about this topic.

We are just trying to get people to sign so that we don’t look like little kids who just don’t want to wear something, because we want to show this actually means something to us,” Rash said.

Rash said that they are trying to get a few people to come together to voice their opinions, hoping their ideas will be heard and things will start to change.

“We are going to get a couple of speakers just to address the situation then see if we can persuade them into going along with one of our ideas,” Rash stated.