North Dakota school officials are under fire for requiring 220 high school girls to stay after and watch video clips of “Pretty Woman” to make a point about dress code violations — a move at least one student said was akin to them being called “prostitutes.”
“Pretty Woman,” starring Julie Roberts, was the 1990 movie about a prostitute who found love in the arms of her wealthy client.
So when Devils Lake High School Principal Ryan Hanson herded the girls into the gym and showed video clips from the film, while speaking about recent dress code violations involving yoga pants, several took offense, Yahoo News reported.
Mr. Hanson explained the girls-only assembly to Yahoo News: “The image you project is so important. It matters so much to you as a woman. In our eyes, we’re trying to protect our kids and sometimes they don’t see it that way.”
He also said that the assembly was called after the assistant principal logged more than 30 dress code violations among female students, involving too-tight yoga pants, leggings and jeans.
“[Yoga pants] stretched so thin that they become see-through,” he said, Yahoo News reported. “Things aren’t left to the imagination, I guess.”
But students at the assembly weren’t so appreciative of the lesson.
“A student said something to the effect of, ‘You’re calling us prostitutes,’ ” Mr. Hanson said, in Yahoo News. “That was not the intent — it was an unfortunate choice because yes, [Julia Roberts] also plays a prostitute in the movie, but that wasn’t what was trying to be stressed.”
Parents, too, are now involved in the discussion, taking to Facebook to wonder why the dress code seems to target girls.
“A lot of the parents went on Facebook, and we were discussing it,” Candace Olsen told KLVY-TV. “They were talking about how they think the boys should be able to control themselves, and the girls should be able to wear the leggings and the jeggings and, you know, the skorts and stuff.”