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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Schoolgirls at mixed secondary school are reduced to tears after headteacher tells them 'short skirts make them targets for sexual harassment'

  • Headteacher held assembly to talk about new uniform and sexual harassment
  • Parents have accused him of 'victim blaming' for linking short skirts and abuse
  • One mother says daughter came home in tears and wanted to throw away skirts
  • Headteacher insists he was not saying harassment and skirt length are linked 
Parents have hit out at a headteacher who they say told girls that wearing shorter skirts would encourage sexual harassment.
Children returned to Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School this month and sat through an assembly about their new school uniform.
But acting headteacher Martin Henton has been criticised after the topic of discussion turned to 'sexual threats' and harassment.
A school has come under fire after a headteacher apparently told students that short skirts attract sexual harassment. File photo
A school has come under fire after a headteacher apparently told students that short skirts attract sexual harassment. File photo
Parents say girls came home in tears after believing the message was that shorter skirts would encourage sexual predators.
Mr Henton has denied accusations of 'victim blaming', insisting the girls must have misunderstood the message of the assembly.
Mother Ceri Robinson, 43, said she has no problem with the new skirt, but is 'stunned' it has been linked to sexual harassment.
She said: 'My daughter and her peers were told the longer skirt was aimed at keeping the girls safe from sexual harassment. I am quite stunned that this was deemed acceptable.
'The endorsement of the view in the 21st Century that women and girls have to protect themselves from sexual harassment can be the fault of the victim has a negative impact on the young people who should have trust in the school.
'Any victim of any kind of abuse should be confident in talking to a teacher. The message of this assembly undermines that.'
Students at Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School say the comments came in an assembly
Students at Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School say the comments came in an assembly
Another parent, who asked not to be named, said: 'My daughter came home in tears and asked me if she should chuck her skirts.
'I asked her what was wrong and she said the girls had been told that wearing short skirts was putting them in danger.
'I was appalled. My daughter dresses like any other teenager does. Why should she feel like she's to blame if someone decides to harass her.'
Defending his comments, Mr Henton said the assembly addressed two subjects; uniform and sexual harassment.
He insisted: 'The second issue discussed was about safeguarding issues following the high-level reports last week regarding alarming online potential sexual threats to children.'
The school's headteacher has insisted the idea that 'length of skirt' and harassment are linked was 'not the intended message'
The school's headteacher has insisted the idea that 'length of skirt' and harassment are linked was 'not the intended message'
He added: 'As part of are statutory responsibility to safeguard our students we took the decision to address this in the assembly.
'There is no link between the length of the skirt and keeping girls safe from harassment. This was not the intended message during assembly.'
He has set up a 'working group' to discuss the issue further.

7 comments:

  1. Obviously you don't rub yourself down with blood when swimming with sharks. It's only victim blaming after you actually become a victim. Not when you prevent it.

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  2. Females need to get back to modesty and the basics. If you look like a whore, then more then likely you will be treated like one. Just facts...

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    Replies
    1. Have children do you? Thought not!

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  3. A sensible comment by the head teacher it would seem; or, where does it lead if not realistically followed in modesty. Criminality of a sexual nature remains ever evident in human behavior and should not be taunted, intentionally or not, by the well-meaning though mistaken parent.

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  4. This summer everywhere I was in europe (belgium, holland, france, germany, italy, malta---but not on gozo) girls cut their shorts 3-5 centimeters above where the buttock meets the thigh. They think it is style, but having your bum out on display is an invite to the males basic---not baser---instinct.

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  5. What a load of nonsense, followed by pious claptrap in the comments.
    In the 60s and 70s one could see the girls knickers as the dresses were 'Miniskirts'.
    In many countries the women go (or at least used to go) topless and in many places still do without any harassment. Try Cap de Agde, completely nude and no harassment.
    Tell the boys to grow up. It is the example of those around them that make 'harassment' acceptable or not. Tell the girls to grow up. Admiration is not harassment. Comments are not necessarily harassment. Tell everyone to grow up. Boys admire girls and tease them, girls go to extreme (minimum) lengths to get the boys to admire them. The whole clothing and cosmetic industry is about soliciting sexual thoughts. If they don't like it, move to Saudi Arabia.

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  6. Peter Lang. Pious claptrap you might call it; however, for the unelightened adolescent female modesty is always the best call; this, until they become "wizened", so to say, at an adult age so to follow. This "wizening" declarative to moral considerations in every instance as life passes by thru youth and old age.


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