Late last month, a female student at Bandeirante University in Brazil was expelled after wearing a dress to campus that nearly caused a riot. Geisy Arruda, 20, says that she “always dressed in a way that makes me feel good and that doesn’t offend anybody.” But on October 22, videos turned up on YouTube of the young woman being heckled and insulted by other students. The incident made headlines across Brazil and the university decided to expel Arruda, explaining in the school’s newspaper that she was kicked out for disrespecting “ethical principles, academic dignity and morality.” And University attorney Decio Lencioni told Globo TV that it was Arruda’s behavior and attitude, not her clothes, that got her in trouble, citing that she stopped to pose for photos and raised her dress. Arruda completely denies these claims.
On Monday, however, the university located in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a suburb of Sao Paulo, rescinded Arruda’s expulsion without comment. Although, their decision came after the Education Ministry gave the university 10 days to clarify their reason for Arruda’s dismissal. Arruda said she is ready to return to school but is fearful of both student and teacher’s reception. She told reporters, “I only want to go into the classroom, sit down, study and take tests.” Civil police are currently investigating students that harassed Arruda and said some will be suspended.
Brazil’s minister for women’s policy, Nilcea Freire, had the last word. She told the Agencia Brasil news service that the university’s original decision showed “intolerance and discrimination.” What do you think?