This U.S. school prohibits bare shoulders for girls - even the celeb on the t-shirt is not allowed to flash that skin

Another sexist school rule requires girls to wear shirts that cover their shoulders
Another sexist school rule requires girls to wear shirts that cover their shoulders

In the U.S., students are allowed to wear casual clothes every single day of school. Though, the freedom of picking what you'd like to wear is sometimes limited by rules that are pretty ridiculous and utterly sexist.

A school in Utah, as reported in, not only prohibits girls from baring their shoulders but also from wearing graphic shirts with bare-shouldered celebrities on them. 

READ MORE: Recent news around former Model C girls' schools remind us how difficult it is to be black in those spaces 

Allison Stubblebine, who wrote the article for Nylon, reports that "a 13-year-old girl was reprimanded by a school employee for breaking the school's no-bare-shoulders policy. The only thing is, her shoulders were completely covered up - it was her hoodie, featuring an image of Marilyn Monroe with one shoulder exposed sitting next to Tupac Shakur." The young girl was reportedly forced to change the shirt and it is only after her mother intervened that the situation was properly addressed. 

The teenager's mother, Katie Fabert, spoke to Fox 13 about the matter, and according to their article, she explained that "the vice principal took issue with the way Marilyn Monroe was dressed. Her shoulder was exposed. Monroe's outfit in the picture violated dress code, he told her." Katie tried to challenge the decision, but she eventually let it go as her daughter was on the verge of tears during the confrontation. 

READ MORE: Girl teens feel more empowered than ever, but they also feel equally objectified 

According to, the school's principal later called to let Katie know that this had all been a mistake. The sweatshirt, in fact, did not violate dress code and the principal planned to go over the school's dress code with his staff. Katie commented on the situation and said that "Instead of enforcing what is actually dress code, these teachers are coming in and bringing their own opinion." 

This is the statement that the school sent to Fox 13 regarding the situation: 

"We did have an issue yesterday with a student wearing a shirt that an employee thought was in a violation of the dress code. The student was asked to wear something different. The principal is in the process of reviewing that decision. We will work closely with the student and their family to appropriately resolve the matter." 

READ MORE: 11-year-old girls are being taught feminist self-defence as part of sexual and gender-based violence awareness 

The issue here is bigger than a gross mistake made by an employee of the school. An article in explains that the hidden agenda behind dress codes such as these is to underscore the gender and sexuality issues that exist in society. In the article, Dianne Gereluk states that the issues of dress codes that prohibit girls from showing 'too much skin' are in fact part of a belief that "when their bodies are not covered, it supposedly sends a clear message that girls are at fault should something wrongful be done to them; they somehow deserved such a fate."

This is not the first time that an incident like this has happened, as earlier this year a girl was suspended from school because she was wearing ripped jeans that exposed her knee. The reason behind her suspension was that she needed to consider the hormones of boys and not show any skin. As sexist as that was, the girl who wore a Marilyn Monroe shirt was also subjected to the same level of sexism at school. 

Girls should not be policed in this way, at any point in their lives, especially while they're young; or else misogyny and sexism will not come to an end. 

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.