In Today’s society, children are encouraged to do things that makes them happy and be whoever they want to be. In this article, a young girl is removed for school because she acts too much like a boy. The physical appearcne of this young girl also plays a role in how people at the Christian school precieve her. Children should be given a chance to explore and play with their appearances.
The school should not have the right to force her to follow the biblical standards. It goes to show the difference between a Christian school and a public school. The public schools now have to follow Title IX, and giving equal education. However, what rule keeps private institutions from discriminating. Is this fair?
Here is the news story video:
Nicole, the video you shared breaks my heart. This poor little girl! I couldn’t imagine being kicked out of school and not understanding why. Her grandparents said she cries everyday because she misses her friends at the Christian school. It is very apparent that this girl may seem a little bit “out of the box.” For a girl, in order to be “in the box” one must wear dresses, have long hair, and play more feminine games. Sunny has short hair, wears what she wants, and in the video she was playing basketball with her grandfather. I will never understand what is wrong with that. If Sunny cheated in school, or caused a lot of fights with other students, then maybe it would make more sense as to why she was asked not to return to the school. However, it seems to me that she is being kicked out of school for expressing herself, something every single one of us is taught to do from a very young age.
This is a good example of how people use artefacts and physical appearance to express themselves nonverbally. According to our book and Dr. Naomi’s lecture, most meaning from messages comes from nonverbal communication, so the girl expressing herself this way sends a very a strong message that conflicts with this Christian school’s values. In this case, it seems like the institution of the church put the girl in an “act-like-a-woman” box, where the gendered norm for females is to have long hair, and wear dresses. Once she “steps out of the box,” and expresses herself in a not-feminine way, she was punished by the institution of the church. In social learning theory, she might have started to dress more femininely because of the negative reinforcement, but it looks like the positive reinforcement of her parents and friends matters more here. If we look at this in the view of cognitive development theory, she might be copying her grandmother (who said she could never have long hair or wear pink bows) as a female role model. In cognitive development, the girl is active and she has gender constancy, where her identity as a female won’t change even if she uses and wears masculine artifacts and clothes.
I hope the girl will be able to return to her school.
Nicole, This is absolutely crazy and so sad. I have just started studying gender and communication and I find this offensive that a school would kick an innocent child like this out just because she is dressing like a “boy.” What exactly is she doing wrong? If the school cannot come up with something better than that the girl is dressing like a boy then they should be sued. Too many things in today’s world are judged by what we wear or things like that. If she is doing her work and making good grades then why should it matter? It really makes me think of the scenario: Imagine you had to get surgery and you go to the hospital and have the choice between two doctors. One of these doctors is well dressed and spoken but you look at the surgery record and this doctor has lost several patients on the table. The next doctor comes in and is well spoken but dresses funny but this resume says this doctor has never lost a patient. Do you choose the well dressed doctor because it is more normal? It is time we stop judging by the cover because we are going to miss a lot of opportunities if we continue to do so.
Completely agree with Tiffani’s statement that is teacher students to discriminate. I on the other hand am not religious at all so from an outside point of view this is harsh. I mean I got in trouble in school for playing football with the boys rather than picking flowers with the girls. I only got in trouble mostly because my mom was mad my clothes were always dirty. Even then I was allowed by the school to play and was not discouraged for playing or not fitting in with the “norm”. Tiffani is right Sunny should not be punished for not fitting in, who at that school has the right to say that she is not normal or is being wrong for expressing herself.
This is the kind of situation that teaches the other students to discriminate. I understand the religious part of it because I am Catholic but in the modern day things have changed. Sunny should not be punished because she is not like every other girl is the school. Children in today’s world are taught by pop culture to be whoever they want to be and express themselves. A school does not have to right to tell a child they need look and act a certain way. Sunny’s grandparents made a good discussion by taking her out of a school that is taking her freedom away.