Last week, the cheerleading squad at Timpview High School in Utah were told they couldn't wear their uniforms to school on game day because a male student said they gave him "impure thoughts."
According to PEOPLE, the school chalked this up to a misunderstanding that was blown out of proportion, but this is just one example of a much deeper problem.
Normally, the cheer squad wears their uniforms on game day to boost school spirit, which makes total sense!
This particular comment about the cheerleaders' uniforms went from the boy's mother to the school administrator to the cheer coach. Then, a group of administrators had to meet to decide whether or not they should take action.
Unfortunately, the instruction to wear something different on game day was somehow passed on to the cheerleaders.
Apparently, school administrators are still trying to figure out exactly how that happened.
Regardless of who said what to whom, the 44 cheerleaders at Timpview didn't take the news lightly at all. Some members of the squad spoke to PEOPLE anonymously about the incident.
One explained that the squad also had some decisions to make on how to respond to this comment:
All of us were trying to decide which skirt to wear on Friday and our coach told us that we couldn't wear them anymore. We asked what would happen if we wore them anyway, and she advised us not to. So we didn't. Instead we wore best dress the next day.
Another expressed her frustration about the snowball effect of this comment:
It's giving this boy power that when he grows up and does something to a girl, he can blame it on her skirt being too short. It really made me angry. Why should this boy have control over what we wear?
It's important to keep in mind that Timpview is part of a Mormon community in Utah. Boys and girls who grow up Mormon are taught to dress modestly and that their bodies are sacred. Girls even have a common saying about how they dress: "Modest is the hottest."
Yikes. That phrase alone both body-shames and sexualizes women.
Unfortunately, this mindset perpetuates rape culture, especially in a part of the country that's primarily Mormon, a religion known to body-shame women.
Female students of Timpview shouldn't be objectified and sexualized in this way. They're just uniforms, it's part of being on the team.
Of course, one male student turns a uniform into a sex thing, and now, 44 girls at the school need to change something considered a school tradition.
Again, this incident is another example to add to the pile of reasons that we need to focus on the root of the problem, like this boy and his unwarranted comment, instead of what girls are wearing and doing.