Utah Cheerleaders Say They Were Told Not to Wear Their Uniforms After a Boy Complained of 'Impure Thoughts'

This is not okay.

A cheerleading squad in Provo, Utah, said they were told not to wear their uniforms after a boy claimed they made him feel "impure thoughts"—but the school claims it was all a misunderstanding, People (opens in new tab) reports.

Last week, a coach reportedly told the 44 cheerleaders at Timpview High School that someone complained that their uniforms were distracting a boy in their school, and their mother had emailed a school staffer. So the coach told them they could not wear their uniforms to school before the big game that Friday night.

And the cheerleaders were rightfully outraged that one boy's comment could control a squad of 44. "I kind of felt like it's the school almost supporting a rape culture," cheerleader JoAnna Johnson told Fox 13 Salt Lake City (opens in new tab). "It's giving this boy power that when he grows up and does something to a girl, he can blame it on her skirt being too short," an anonymous cheerleader told People. "Why should this boy have control over what we wear?"

The school district insists that the cheerleaders could always have worn their uniforms on game days, and that the controversy was out of proportion to what really happened. "It's a misunderstanding between the cheerleading advisor and a member of the school administration who gave her a message about the boy's concerns," school district spokesperson Caleb Price told People. "The school was never going to say you can't wear your uniforms or dress in a certain way."

It's unclear how official the recommendation actually was. (Regardless, it's pretty awful that a parent of a boy would complain about the cheerleaders' uniforms rather than teach her son to control himself.) Now, the cheerleaders can wear their uniforms on game day, as usual. And they can stick to what they normally do: kick butt at cheerleading. Check them out at a state competition back in 2014:

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Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.