Target: Ronda Bass, Superintendent on Noble School District in Oklahoma
Goal: Condemn superintendent’s use of inappropriate language when enforcing dress code in school
Many schools enforce dress codes to maintain some semblance of professionalism in the classroom. If students want to dress in slightly inappropriate ways, it is their prerogative to do so, but not while they are on school grounds. That is the general consensus of superintendents and administrators across the country. However, Ronda Bass, a superintendent in Oklahoma, has recently come under fire for speaking inappropriately to students, allegedly referring to some of the young female students as “skanks.”
Bass believed that some of the female students in her high school were dressing too provocatively. However, instead of gently reminding them to dress more appropriately for school, she called them hurtful names. She also asked them to bend over, and told them if they did not feel comfortable doing so then their skirts were too short. Most of the girls left school that day deeply upset by the incident. Ms. Bass sees herself as a “Mama Bear” in her schools, and says she feels very protective of her students. However, in this case, she took her mothering way too far and made the students feel uncomfortable.
Her logic here is rather perverse. To establish that students should be acting more appropriately in school, she made them all feel incredibly uncomfortable. By calling the girls names and making them bend over, Ms. Bass was acting outside of what is appropriate. Her actions were completely against what she was attempting to do, and upsetting students is no way to make them respect or listen to you.
Therefore, we call on Ronda Bass to formally apologize to her students. Bass’ ultimate message may have been well intentioned, but she failed to realize her goal. Please sign the petition below to urge Mrs. Bass to let her students know that she understands that she was acting out of turn.
Dear Ms. Bass,
I understand the need for schools to maintain a certain level of decorum. Although they are made up of teenagers and not working professionals, students should still be required to dress with a certain level of grace. That means wearing both clean and appropriate clothing, but that also means acting appropriately.
I believe that you were acting inappropriately by calling your students “skanks” and asking them to bend over in front of their classmates. I urge you to apologize to your students for humiliating and degrading them in front of their peers. If you really see yourself as a mother bear in your school, you must ensure that your students feel comfortable and safe when they come to class, regardless of their attire.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mailer diablo via Wikimedia Commons