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Watch: Male Student Sent Home from Tampa-Area High School for Wearing Women's Pumps

Heels

A male student at Riverview High School near Tampa is in the news after being sent home for wearing high heels to school:

"He likes the way they make him feel. They make him feel more confident, and he just likes to wear them," said Riverview High School senior Hayley Stepp, who says she's a friend of the student.

School officials say they sent him home out of concern for his safety:

"As a principal of a high school, I have to take the paternal side and make sure he's going to be okay," said Heilmann, afraid the boy would be bullied. "Anytime anyone goes out from, quote, 'the norm' or anytime anyone wants to make a statement, you have to be willing to take what comes with it."

Watch FOX 13's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Boy in high heels removed from class: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com

 

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Comments

  1. Ruby slippers they're not. But to each his own. High heels give me a backache, hence I usually don't where them, unless absolutely necessary (e.g. coronations, royal weddings, etc.)

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 27, 2011 9:12:55 AM


  2. I can understand the sentiment, but shielding these kids isn't the answer. The answer isn't pretending the hate doesn't exist or trying to wipe it aside. The answer is the school meeting the hate head on, making it clear it is NOT acceptable, making it clear there will be consequences if this young man is bullied, and standing up for this young man, and any kid who doesn't "conform". Kowtowing to bigotry isn't the answer.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 27, 2011 9:15:19 AM


  3. I think the principal took the mature and appropriate response. Im all for you can wear whatever you want, but you do have to understand that people are going to react the way they choose. This is a school, and the focus should be learning.

    Posted by: Chuck | Apr 27, 2011 9:16:52 AM


  4. I will say I personally never understand the point of heels I cant see how anyone can like wearing uncomfortable foot where.

    That being said while I think the principal should be concerned and whatch out for the kids. The solution to kids who are outside the norm is not to make them conform or send them home. Instead it is to educate them on the realities of perceptions of others and educate others on accepting differs.

    But I understand this is a public school so educating the students might be askig for too much.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Apr 27, 2011 9:24:41 AM


  5. can't the principal just give the kid a tazer to take care of the haters?

    Posted by: The TRUTH | Apr 27, 2011 9:32:09 AM


  6. The principal should be fired if his solution to keeping ONE student safe from other students is to send him away.

    Posted by: pete | Apr 27, 2011 9:36:36 AM


  7. I'm not sure the kid should be wearing those peep toe stilettos for day. They're really more of an evening look.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Apr 27, 2011 9:48:22 AM


  8. This case illustrates the double standards of liberalism. Liberalism is OK with giving women the freedom to wear trousers or dresses, normal shoes or stilettos. However, when it comes to men, liberalism has confined men to a very narrow set of options: trousers and definitely no dresses, normal shoes and definitely no stilettos.

    You also see this double standard in nightclubs owned by liberals in which women are allowed to enter half-naked whereas men are often requested to wear a shirt and trousers covering their entire bodies.

    Keep in mind that the sexual revolution started about 50 years ago. All we men got from it is a set of double standards which give women greater freedom than men. These double standards particularly affect gay men because we are already persecuted for being gay.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 27, 2011 9:53:47 AM


  9. @Chuck

    People tend to forget that public schools are about educating a large cluster of students. They are not for socializing, for self-expression, or even for athletics. While all of these things can and do occur, the primary purpose is to teach humans math, science, literature, etc.

    The principles and teachers cannot watch all students every second of the day. Especially not at larger schools. Yes, bullying should be met head on, but...come on...heels??? They are uncomfortable, hurt, etc. The kid wanted to make a statement and statements are best made in clear ways or not at all.

    Personally, I went to a school with uniforms and I feel that helped considerably. You didn't know by looking who had more money, who had less money, etc. I think banning all cellular devices, raising the age of Facebook and Twitter for subscriptions, and forcing uniforms would do more to curb this bullying problem than anything else.

    Teenagers are overly hormonal and just stupid. What teachers are forced to do is riot control.

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 27, 2011 9:57:42 AM


  10. I like the principal's approach. He is rejecting these kids' choices but is concerned about their safety.

    Posted by: rb | Apr 27, 2011 10:33:34 AM


  11. This principal should be thrown in jail. The "norm" he promotes is bullying. Abusing your authority by supporting the violent is just plain criminal.

    Besides, every man should know what it's like to run on wet grass in high heels. It makes you wiser, in many ways.

    Posted by: Go Galt. Please. | Apr 27, 2011 10:57:32 AM


  12. This kid is getting the same thing that women want who wear heels...attention. The principal did the right thing.

    Posted by: phillip | Apr 27, 2011 11:18:52 AM


  13. @GoGalt

    Jail??? For telling him to not wear high heels to high school?

    Um, okay.

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 27, 2011 11:20:20 AM


  14. The minority doesn't change to suit the majority's whims. Authority doesn't exist to crush the minority but to protect it as it goes about it's business. Big Brother doublethink isn't employed to pretend that insisting that the minority stop offending the majority with its existence is actually a way of celebrating the minority.

    Of course, this is only the way things are in a decent society, which certainly excludes Florida.

    Posted by: ohplease | Apr 27, 2011 12:14:18 PM


  15. Shot of sanity here...this is HIGH SCHOOL. You are there TO LEARN. Not to make friends, not to play sports, but to learn math, reading, science etc skills so that you can either go to college or get a job. Why do we treat the educational system like it is there for the purpose of self-expression, learning ethics, and becoming better people. That is the job of families not the US public school system.

    It is also "free". It is also filled with hundreds of kids and very few teachers and authority figures to teach, monitor, and counsel them. They don't have the time, the eyes, or the facilities to watch every single kid. He made a judgment call for this child's welfare, not to be hateful--which is his job and suddenly he's an a-hole for not allowing someone to embrace frivolity.

    I wear high heels OCCASIONALLY in a dress up situation. They are impractical footwear. They are physically bad for you, but make your calves look great.

    Wearing and walking around all day in heels at that age, male or female, is ridiculous. Flats, sneakers, etc. that's what all practical-minded humans should be wearing.

    This is not about gender equality or even homophobia. This is not drinking from the white fountain instead of the Colored's Only. This is not the equivalent of marriage equality or DADT repeal. This is the equivalent of telling the kid with pink hair to dye it brown.

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 27, 2011 12:26:24 PM


  16. You know what? If he wants to step outside the norm let him. The principals suggestion that he should "have to take the consequences..." is bull.

    How about the people bullying him take the consequence. They at least deserve to.

    We'll protect a bullies self-expression but not a students? What kind of crap message to send is that? That principle wouldn't know an original thought if it steamrolled him apparently.

    Posted by: ryan | Apr 27, 2011 1:26:20 PM


  17. Rin: I agree with you that footwear like stiletto heels should not be worn to class. Many schools require a change from outdoor to indoor shoes and allow only non-marking athletic footwear for the gym.
    But there should never be a different set of rules for males vs. females (or whites vs. blacks or Jews vs. Christians).
    The principal didn't say no one is allowed heels because they mark up the gym or promote foot and leg injury; he said that one particular student can't wear them. The other problem is that the principal seems to think that getting rid of non-conformists is easier than demanding that there be no bullying of non-conformity.
    School is the perfect atmosphere to get used to the idea that there are different kinds of people in the world, and we can all be civil and work among all kinds of people.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 27, 2011 1:27:57 PM


  18. "Anytime anyone goes out from, quote, 'the norm' or anytime anyone wants to make a statement, you have to be willing to take what comes with it."

    In this context, it's difficult to interpret this as anything but a but blatant rationalization in support of violence and harassment. "Step out of line, and you'll get what you deserve... We have an obligation to force you to conform in order to protect you."

    Heels are unacceptable, but intimidation, violence, and harassment are ok.

    Posted by: Bryan | Apr 27, 2011 2:04:37 PM


  19. I think the principal did the right thing here- the boy may want to wear high heels at home or on his free time but wearing them at school is just asking for it. He was obviously worried that the kid was going to be the target of bullies. I do wish the boy had been interviewed.

    Posted by: jaragon | Apr 27, 2011 6:24:33 PM


  20. @gregv

    I think all high heels should be banned, short skirts, chains, excessive piercing, etc ...anything distracting from the educational process.

    You are there to learn. Not make a crotchful of friends, to quote Raven.

    School uniforms are the way to go. That way poor kids don't have to worry about not having the latest thing and everyone is across the board made to feel equal. I even hate proms and crap like that because it is always the pretty popular kids who are crowned prom king and queen and single kids with no dates are either banned or are social pariahs. God forbid you be poor, a fat chick, gay or handicapped during high school! Your chances of "winning" anything are next to none.

    Can you tell I hated high school? Can you also tell I taught high school?

    Uniforms for the win!

    Posted by: Rin | Apr 27, 2011 10:07:46 PM


  21. Miss Thing There will be NO RUNWAY for you today!

    Posted by: chris dachocolatebearcub | Apr 28, 2011 1:59:59 AM



  22. Stupid. Let a dude wear high heels if he wants already. Who cares?! It's the forbidding that makes it such a big deal. That serves as an up-front reminder of the legally-enforced stigma of not following the male (oh, and heterosexual) code.

    This sh*t needs to change. It's time.

    (Never mind that I don't get heals AT ALL, ha.)

    Posted by: just_a_guy | Apr 28, 2011 5:19:36 AM


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