‘We Don’t Want To See Your Sausage Rolls.’ On High School Dress Code Flyer

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It’s the end of another school year and unfortunately, that means more body shaming dress codes.

I must state the obvious disclaimer – not all high schools send out body shaming messages when dictating dress codes, however it has become a bit of a thing, and this example takes shaming to a whole new level.



One Pennsylvania high school is now in the spotlight, and one of the students, Brianna Burtop, posted a public sample of the flyer on her Facebook page. Her post has received quite a bit of attention.

Biglerville High School Awards Ceremony dress code suggests khakis and a collared dress shirt for the “gentlemen” – which sounds reasonable. It states in bold type and all caps: “PULL YOUR PANTS UP!” The flyer asks the guys to “remain private” and seemingly attempts humor by adding “it’s a really bad look to be walking in hanging on to your drawers to keep them from falling down.”

Then the flyer focuses on the “ladies.”

They suggest a “skirt or nice slacks.” Again – sounds reasonable. The flyer goes on to say if a skirt is too short, the audience will be able to get a glimpse of a girls underwear – so a longer skirt is preferred. You can decide how you feel about that.

Perhaps the person who wrote this flyer thought they were being humorous when they wrote:

“Choose modest attire. No bellies showing, keep “the girls” covered and supported and make sure that nothing is so small that all your bits and pieces are hanging out. Please remember as you select an outfit for the awards assembly that we don’t want to be looking at ‘sausage rolls’ as Mrs. Elliot calls them. As you get dressed remember that you can’t put ten pounds of mud into a five-pound sack.”

Burtop told Liberals Unite:

My opinion is, while I think the ultimate goal of this was humor, it was done in poor taste. A girls weight should never be used as comedic relief. Fat or thin, everyone can have rolls. Telling young, impressionable, 18-year-old girls that they don’t want to see their “sausage rolls” is not okay. Especially in a school setting where we are supposed to feel safe and secure. Not only may they be worried about their body, and how they’ll look on graduation, but now they have the administration telling them that their bodies aren’t good enough, and they need to hide it because they don’t want to see it. I agree that in this event everyone, including boys, should dress modestly and appropriately but telling a girl that she should keep in mind that you can’t shove 10 pounds of mud into a 5 pound sack is absolutely appalling.”



Here are some comments on her Facebook thread:

Jared: Let me start off that the intent of this letter was just. These occasions are school events and the school does have a right to inform the students of appropriate attire.  But I also think that whoever wrote this did a very poor job of conveying their message in a polite and proper manner. It is not okay for anyone, let alone a school employee, to use offensive terms in relation to dress code. I realize that this letter was attempted to be written in a humorous way but I found it quite cruel. It’s NOT okay for this letter to come from school administration. It is demeaning. It is insulting. And it is insensitive.
John: Maybe they should show a little more professionalism when writing this stuff. Show that you do have an education and you are a professional. Shake my head.

Tatyana: It’s the same school that makes special needs students clean, do we really expect better of them by now?

Nicole: This is a great opportunity to show people how unacceptable it is to go about a situation this way. Yes, students should dress appropriately… but regardless of their weight. This isn’t professional and puts people down. There’s no excuse if they’re an establishment that should be trusted with people’s well-beings. This includes emotionally. — And if you agree with how they went about it, well, I feel sorry for you quite frankly. It’ll bite you in the ass in due time, I’m not even worried.

Other comments reveal that members of Brutrop family are looking to take legal action.

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Kimberley Johnson
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Kimberley Johnson

Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of AMERICAN WOMAN: The Poll Dance & The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB
Kimberley Johnson
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