John Westen


High school girls and the duct-tape suspension

John Westen

A bunch of Catholic high school girls in Windsor Ontario have garnered national media attention for wearing duct-tape shirts to a hockey game to cheer on their team.  What’s of interest is that the school banned the duct tape outfits out of concern for “immodesty.”

However, rather than institute a modesty policy to deal with immodesty the school made a rather ridiculous ban simply on duct-tape shirts. 

The girls who spent their one-day suspension giving numerous media interviews pointed out that they wore shirts under their duct-tape shirts and even cardigans over top to address the modesty concerns.  So they ended up being suspended for disobeying an order rather than immodesty. 

Sure, the school can suspend for disobeying a direct order but St. Joseph’s school could have also played it straight and suggested a modesty policy rather than an arbitrary ban on duct-tape clothing.

It shouldn’t be too hard for a Catholic school to come up with a modesty policy.

Pope Pius XII himself suggested one that went something like this: “in order that uniformity of understanding prevail in all institutions of religious women ... we recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper ...”

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