Sports spectator or burlesque showgirl?
That was the rhetorical question posed by Perham-Dent School Board Member Bridgit Pankonin, after seeing some thinly clad Perham High School girls at a recent sports event.
"They looked like they were at a brothel rather than at a football game," said Pankonin at the Sept. 17 Perham-Dent School Board meeting.
This sparked an interesting school board discussion about proper attire --and whether or not the school can legislate clothing at a public school event, after school hours.
"They're at a public event, and they're not representing the school at that time," said board member Jim Rieber, who added that it becomes more an issue for the parents when it is outside the school day.
"Spectators must wear clothing that covers the entire torso," is how the Minnesota State High School League Spectator Conduct Policy reads. "those who do not comply or who wear clothing that is vulgar, obscene or that is in some other way inappropriate, as determined by school/tournament personnel, will be removed from the arena or stadium..."
By the letter of the law, the apparel worn by several girls did not violate the high school league state policy. While the garments may have violated Perham-Dent's school building policy--the event was not during the school day.
"If I had a daughter, she wouldn't have left home looking like that...but I don't know how we can become policemen over that issue," said board member Dan Nodsle.
Board member Dave Schornack was also reluctant to persue the matter further, but was pleased that Pankonin raised the issue--which could generate more discussion in the community.
"We're making the community aware...but it is a slippery slope to try to legislate this," said Schornack.