Manitowoc students say prom poster promotes sexist message

By The Associated Press | Posted - Apr. 30, 2015 at 10:41 a.m.



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MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) — Some students at a Manitowoc high school say posters put up in the halls a week before prom amount to "sex shaming."

The posters at Lincoln High School showed a back-and-white silhouette of a woman in formal attire, with words such as "honest," ''classy" and "tidy" making up her body. Across the top of the posters are the words "A Night to Protect Her Character."

Senior Kelsey Schindl told HTR Media (http://htrne.ws/1DYSFBo) that the poster is insulting and "sex shames" female students. She said there weren't any posters with male silhouettes.

"The insinuation that if you do have sex then you don't have any character anymore is a horrible message to send," Schindl said.

The posters had the logos of The Crossing of Manitowoc County, a Christian-based pregnancy services organization, and Holy Family Memorial. They were also signed by the principal.

Manitowoc Public School District said in a statement that the posters were just meant to "promote a positive prom experience" and did not promote a religious theme.

"Social media reaction has demonstrated that any message can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways, many never contemplated or intended to be part of the original message," the district said.

In a statement, Holy Family Memorial said it "supports the core message" of the poster of "social responsibility and safe behaviors for both young women and men." The Crossing of Manitowoc County said in a statement it hopes the poster encourages students to act in a way that "prom will be a 'night to remember, not a night to regret.'"

Schindl said she asked the principal if she could put up posters with an alternate view. But she said she was denied.

"I'm not endorsing teens to have sex, but you're not a bad person if you do and you're not a bad person if you don't," she said.

District officials thought the alternate viewpoint encouraged sex and wasn't appropriate, said Superintendent Marcia Flaherty. She said it would've been better for staff to remove the existing posters, but that students had already done so.

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Information from: HTR Media, http://www.htrnews.com

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The Associated Press

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