Lester B. Pearson School Board, Bastion of Small Thinking

civil rights, culture, Education, ethics, feminism Leave a reply

Montreal teen, Lindsey Stocker, was suspended from her school (Beaconsfield High School) for having an opinion. Her opinion was that the school (Beaconsfield High School) was policing the clothing of the girls of the school rather than policing the unacceptable behaviour of the boys in the school, and thus contributing to a culture whereby women and girls are held responsible for the behaviour of men and boys.

By suspending her for expressing her opinion, the buffons who operate Beaconsfield High School have exemplified her argument.

Beaconsfield High School has the policy that if ones clothing does not go past ones fingers, then one is wearing “inappropriate clothing”. This is the policy of people who have chosen to be lazy, to not engage in any thinking, and to intentionally blame women. Is it because the administrators are terrible people? I’m not sure, but I find nothing that allows me to rule out that possibility.

The policy is arbitrary. There is nothing in any evidence that I’ve seen, in any research that I’ve read that clothing that falls slightly short of the finger tips vs. clothing that surpasses the finger-tips magically (and yes, I do mean “spooky action-at-a-distance”) acts on the neurons in the brains of young men, to cause them act in inappropriate ways. Short of any Nobel-prize-winning evidence for this amazing and heretofore undiscovered property of cloth/human skin, there is zero justification for this irrational policy.

Unless, of course, you consider men/boys to be slavering animals just waiting for the green light that is the sight of female thighs to unleash their inner sexual assaulter? But that finger-tip-length distance? That’s all that keeps us between civilisation, and a war of all-against-all. At least, that’s what Steven Colpitts, shithead-in-chief (aka schools director for the Lester B. Pearson School Board), seems to think. Here is someone, ostensibly in charge of schools director for the Lester B. Pearson School Board the education of a district, espousing medieval nonsense. This is, quite frankly, an embarrassment. According to the Global News Article:

“It needs to be clear that this is always an opportunity for the school to make it a learning situation for the students,” he said. “To sensitize them about hypersexualization, which is often a topic that is discussed and the students are well aware of.”

Singling someone out in front of a class, and chastising them for failing to adhere to a evidence-free school policy, is not ‘sensitizing the students about hypersexualization.’ It’s an attempt to shame and bully the girl in question into adhering to the misogynistic cultural norms. Stocker rightly points this out:

“It was in front of my entire class,” Stocker said. “I felt attacked, it was humiliating.”

Stocker told Global News that she felt that the school rule was imposed arbitrarily.

“They can pick and choose at random… which girls are filling out their clothes more…”

In order to express her frustration with the complete inanity that is the actions of her school administrators, Stocker put up some flyers (you can see the image in the Global article) as a means of protest. They were taken down, and the schmucks suspended her. The language of her poster reads as follows:

“Don’t humiliate her because she is wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.”

This is one of those “learning situations” that Colpitts is in favour of, and yet the school administrators decided, in their infinitesimal wisdom, to suspend Stocker instead. Colpitts, Instead, he decided to point out the obvious, that Stocker knew what the rules were. Notice that at no point did Stocker plead ignorance of these unjustified rules. She quite rightly disputed their validity, and argued against them. One wonders where she got her education from, as she far surpasses those in charge of her school and district.

Suanne Stein Day, chairman of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, indicated that being an unreflective jackass was a requirement for being on the School Board by echoing Colpitts comments. She claimed that the rule applied to both boys and girls, but (of course) shorts that go well above the knee are rarely in fashion for boys, and neither are tops that expose ones mid-riff: in practice, these are rules that target women’s fashion, not men’s. One would hope that a requirement of being on a school board would be an ability to reason critically, but both Stein Day and Colpitts present strong cases against that.

Stein Day, in an effort to ensure that no women governed by the Lester B. Pearson School Board ever stand up for themselves, then suggests that someone standing up for themselves and others, and pointing a critical lens at society, is something negative:

“The way she delivered her message was inappropriate. I feel a little bit sorry for her because this is going to be sticking with her for her future,” she said.

“If she goes to apply for a job and someone sees this on her Twitter or on her Facebook, it may affect her future possibilities.”

What a piece of work.

Meanwhile, Stocker (yet again) quite rightly points out that the concern that her standing up for herself would be a mark *against* her is an indictment of the school system around her.

“If I’m going to be held back by this in my education, I feel that says more about the education system than it does about me.”

Damn straight.

If you feel that school and the school board behaved inappropriately, I encourage you to share your feelings with them via their contact page.

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