Principal forces high school girl to kneel so he can check if her skirt is too short

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School Principal Tommy Hodges also enjoys a bit of “BDSM” with Mrs. School Principal Tommy Hodges.



When I was in high school (20 years ago), this was explicitly part of the dress code: skirt/short length (for both boys and girls) was specifically listed as the height above the knee when kneeling. I don’t know how often that kneeling test was actually applied vs just eyeballing it, but that was the letter of the rule. I always thought it was sort of weird, but not newsworthy-weird. I’m not so sure how I feel about it now, but I’d wager that this guy is either in a school district with the same rule or himself went to a school with that rule (so believed that test to be the norm). The rule may be stupid, but painting the guy as some sort of deviant seems disingenuous.


That’s actually how the girl’s vice principal did it when I was in high school back in the mid 1970s. I’ve seen photos of principals checking for dress code violations from the late 50s like that too.


Her parents were present and allowed this? HELL. NO.


I’m glad that I was in a liberal, open H.S. back in 1974-1978. I can imagine it is hard living as a teenager under The American Taliban.


BDSM is not creepy. Not really my scene, but I have several friends who are into it, and my wife and I have explored the scene both separately before we met and some together. Like every and all social scenes, BDSM does definitely have creepers. It itself is not creepy and most of the women and men and transpersons involved in it would excoriate this principle’s behavior, so maybe not so accurate to associate him with them.

That said, I don’t think he was being creepy, I think he was being a jackass prude policing women’s clothing. BUT, he was and is (probably unintentionally) perpetuating rape culture by perpetuating the belief that women and girls are responsible for how they’re treated based on how revealing their clothing is, when in fact it’s society (including men and other women and even high school principles) who are responsible for treating women and girls with respect regardless of skirt length. And in that Tommy Hodges failed miserably. Whatever dress code he enforces (and which he almost certainly had a hand in setting), there’s no excuse for treating a young lady as he treated Miss Durbin.

He should apologize for demeaning this young woman. But we live in a world where tools like him double down on their asinine behavior, so I don’t hold out much hope.


If the photo is her, I can eyeball the length at less than 6 inches. Seems like he had it out for this student for some reason.


Seriously. How was the conversation not:

Principal to student: “Kneel down.”
Parents to principal: “I hope you have a great attorney because you’re going to need one.”


The way I see it, anybody can ask or tell my kids to do anything. It’s my kids responsibility to laugh in their faces when necessary.

If the principal thinks her skirt is too short, then he is not allowed to wear it.


Without consent, it’s the very definition of creepy.


I dunno. Going to great lengths in enforcing stupid rules seems pretty deviant to me. And pretty shameful - like he’s got nothing better to do with his time than bug students about skirt length.


Tommy knew what he was doing. Tommy knew EXACTLY what he was doing.


Fair enough. You’re completely correct that creepy isn’t down to his intent; it’s his actions that count. I stand corrected. What I mean is that even if he wasn’t demeaning her for his own twisted thrill, his actions and attitude bolster a culture of rape and victim-blaming.


That skirt is clearly above the knees, even without forcing her to assume a submissive and suggestive position.

And like someone else said, Mom and Dad were OK with this???


We need a 100% accurate and 100% reproducible method of measuring skirt length. She should have said “My skin, underlying fascia, and 1/2 the diameter of my knee joint need to be subtracted from the measurement to be accurate, that is, if the definition is ‘six inches above the knee,’ without further definition.” But that may open another can of worms. “Mary, your skirt may be too short. I’m sending you to get x-ray measurements.”

From the picture, the young woman looks quite modestly dressed, IMO.


Way to police young women’s bodies and support the patriarchy, Principal A-hole.


I mean jeez, he’s only following orders


My somewhat elderly high school history teacher 25 years ago described having to do this as school policy back in the '50s and '60s.

It was part of his speech on why dress codes are disgusting and dehumanizing and why he wanted no part in them.


She’s wearing leggings, not tights, under that dress. So basically she’s wearing pants with a very long tunic. And as her parents pointed out, she could go to church in her outfit.

She also apparently drives to school, which means she’s old enough to drive a car, but not old enough to choose to wear a (parent-approved) dress with leggings.

I think every student in that school (male and female) should wear chadors in response.