With Summer quickly approaching, invites to end-of-the-school-year pool parties and barbecues are starting to flood mailboxes. One lucky recipient was Jennifer Smith, who received a pool party invite from her son's school — however, something about it just didn't sit right with her.
Smith posted the permission slip for the party — with her scribbled response to the school, "I will not let my child participate in any activity that promotes girls body shaming . . . " — in a feminist Facebook group, claiming the school's policy was sexist. The letter informed parents that "All girls must wear a non-white t-shirt over their swimsuit," which goes against everything Smith wants to teach her son about not encouraging gender rules. She immediately contacted the school to ask why the rule was put into place — and why it only applied to girls.
A district spokesperson told The Huffington Post, "We know that for many of our families, buying an extra [one-piece] swimsuit for their children would be a luxury they cannot afford. To address the issue of appropriate dress for the swim party, we believed asking the girls to wear t-shirts over their swimsuits was the solution that addressed the issue most sensitively." But Smith wasn't having any of that — her email response to the school read, "Setting one standard for half of the student body only promotes the idea that girls bodies are naturally shameful."
In the end, the school decided that the t-shirt rule would be optional, a result that Smith was pleased with — for now. She plans on meeting with school officials to discuss gender bias. Smith let her son attend the pool party after the rule was changed, and according to him, not one girl wore a t-shirt.