Samantha Zyduck and four other students at Mosinee High School in Wisconsin wore homemade t-shirts to school last week to promote sexual abuse awareness. School administrators confiscated the shirts, saying they would be returned on Wednesday, the last day of school.
According to acting associate principal Dennis Kaczor, he received complaints about the shirts on June 2, at which point he asked the students to stop wearing the shirts. They refused, so he confiscated them. I’m curious to know the nature of the alleged complaints. The article doesn’t say whether Mosinee High School requires uniforms, or what sort of dress code it enforces, but I’m also curious how many kids have gotten away with “Sexy bitch!” t-shirts and t-shirts glorifying misogyny and sexual predation.
Each shirt read “Stop abuse” on the front and included a different sexual abuse statistic on the back. The students were incredibly brave to speak out in this manner, and their voices have been silenced.
Guidance counselor Joe Prillwitz thinks the students went about their activism all wrong.
“I asked them to get permission from administration and to be sensitive of others’ feelings and they did not do that. It was more like a crusade,” Prillwitz said. “Sexual Assault Awareness Month is in April. Why didn’t they choose to do this stuff then?”
Dog forbid any child go on a crusade against sexual abuse during one of the other 11 months of the year. They must have been up to something fishy.
“I’m all for educating students on this topic, but I think it should be done during the month of awareness using pamphlets and fliers from an established organization. That would add some substance to the cause,” Kaczor said.
The sentiments expressed by Kaczor and Prillwitz are so offensive I don’t know where to begin. Sexual abuse doesn’t stop from May through March, and I’m sure some of the children at the school could verify that from experience. Creative peer-education might have a greater impact than whatever pamphlets and fliers authority figures approved.
I support you, Samantha and friends, and I hope you won’t give up.