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UPDATE: LCHS principal speaks on allegation in anonymous letter

Posted at 5:35 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 20:35:37-05

LANSING, Mich. — A group of Lansing Catholic High School students wrote an anonymous letter claiming sexual harassment by school staff against females based on their uniforms.

The letter was sent to Fox 47 on Thursday.

The letter stated that 40 students were part of the letter writing. They claimed that sexual harassment is happening by staff at the high school.

"We are being harassed, embarrassed and demeaned based on how our uniform fits our bodies," the letter stated. "We are ogled, stared at and inspected on a daily basis by both male and female staff."

The letter states staff at the school "sometimes makes us line up or spin around so they can look at us. They have an 'assessment line' we have to go through to go to events like dances."

The letter stated staff judge the size of their breasts.

"For the young ladies who are more developed, they are scrutinized even more," the letter read.

The students wrote in the letter that staff has even gone as far as putting jerseys on them if they didn't get approval on how they looked in the uniforms.

Lansing Catholic Principal Doug Moore said, "If they didn't feel like they weren't respected that is something we need to talk about. They knew what the dress code was for that event so how do we do that? And I think that is something the committee will look at."

He continue to say, "What we've told teachers to do is be discrete. There is a little form they fill out and hand it to the child, student without trying to direct attention to it."

Moore told Fox 47 the school board is taking steps to make sure student's voices are heard.

"So as a board tonight, we decided to form a committee of parents, staff and students just to make sure the way we implement the dress code or carry it out, we do it in a way that upholds our kids dignity that makes them taller, not smaller," said Moore.

The school has a strict uniform policy.

Students must wear navy or plant pants with a polo or oxford style shirt.

Girls have the option to wear khaki, black, or plaid skirts.

The length requirement for the skirts are two inches to the knee.

Up until the past year, the rule was skirts must be behind the knee.

Moore said, "We have a couple of ideas already. Whether its skirts un-hemmed and modify that but I want to hear that from parents and kids and teachers."

The principal told Fox 47 that two parents have complained in the past about possible harassment in the school.

When the letter was first released Thursday, Moore sent the following response to Fox 47:

"Lansing Catholic High School places the greatest importance on the safety and well-being of its students and has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment within the school community.

Our school uniform policy is long-established and widely supported by our families but in recent months some students and parents have expressed concern about the way the policy is being upheld, feedback we both encourage and welcome.

In the light of today’s letter to local media, we would continue to urge any students or parents with any such concerns to come forward to either Lansing Catholic High School or the Diocese of Lansing so that the safety and well-being of all within our school community can be maintained."

Lansing Catholic High School is encouraging students and parents to come forward to the administration or the dioceses with any concerns. It says it has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment.

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