Target: Chris Jenson, principal of Highland High School
Goal: Remove all sexist and misogynistic assignments from school’s database.
Salt Lake City resident Jenn Oxborrow was horrified when her 16-year-old daughter came home from school with a dating assignment riddled with sexist advice for young women. The assignment, which outraged parents after Oxborrow posted it online, contained gems of wisdom such as “don’t waste his money,” “don’t fish for compliments,” and “be feminine and lady-like.”
The school’s principal defended the girl’s teacher, claiming that she did not create the assignment herself, but pulled it from the school’s database of assignments. Although this specific assignment was removed from the database after complaints were issued, there is still a larger, systemic problem at hand. This assignment is not the first to be criticized by Utah parents for being blatantly sexist or misogynistic.
Reinforcing conventional and outdated gender roles tells impressionable students that there’s a right and a wrong way to perform their gender — and anyone who doesn’t follow those rules is at risk of being alienated, ridiculed, or worse. Today’s youth should be uplifted and supported in however they choose to express their identities, not limited by harmful social conventions.
Tell the school’s principal to take action to make sure all sexist material is removed from Highland’s assignment database.
Dear Principal Jenson,
I was outraged to learn that students at your school were given a blatantly sexist “dating” assignment. Not only does this type of assignment reinforce outdated gender roles, it also excludes students whose sexual orientation or gender identity fall outside the norm. Removing this single assignment from Highland’s database is not enough. It is in your students’ best interest to permanently remove all such assignments from the database. Hopefully it will encourage other Utah schools to follow suit.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images