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April 11, 2016 5:05 PM EDT

After a uniform check at a school assembly, female students at Henderson High School in New Zealand were told that their skirts must now reach knee-level. According to Newshub, deputy principal Cherith Telford said this was necessary to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff.”

The decision has upset many people, including some of the school’s students. Sade Tuttle, one of the students in the meeting with Telford, told The Guardian that “the rules themselves aren’t the problem; the problem is when these codes target girls specifically because their bodies are sexual and distracting.”

The school’s current principal, Mike Purcell, released a statement to Newshub:

Purcell has since declined to comment further, according to The Guardian.

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