This School Has the Worst Fire Safety Policy You’ve Ever Seen

The other day, I posted a story about a former Pensacola Christian College student who had awful recollections of the school’s fire drill policy:

Of course PCC isn’t known for really caring much about fire safety anyway. For years the rule has remained on the books that all female students must be in “proper” attire before they leave their rooms for a fire drill. If you happen to be sleeping in pajama pants, you must take the time to put on a skirt before you try to escape the flames. If you should perish then at least you’ll know you died for the cause of not tempting the fire fighters to lust after you.

It seemed pretty unbelievable, so I sent an email to PCC asking them what their actual policy was in the case of a fire. Did they really require proper attire?

This was the response I got back:

Yes, we ask the girls if they can to grab knee length shorts or a skirt to quickly change in to. Once students exit the building they have to stand so far away from the building.

Seriously…? I had to write back.

But come on, in the case of an emergency, isn’t the first priority to get out of the building? When I was in college, if you were in the shower when a fire alarm went off, you would theoretically just have to go outside in your towel!

So maybe that policy is the hope, but if there’s a real fire, none of that really matters, right?

I got another response from the college:

Yes, the priority would be to get out of the building as quick as possible. The closets are right by the door on their way out of each room so it would be possible to be modest on their way out. A robe would even be fine.

*Sigh*

So it’s true. In the case of a fire at Pensacola Christian College, the first priority is to dress appropriately. The second priority is getting out of the building as quickly as possible. No matter how they phrase it, that’s their mindset.

Or maybe getting out is the third priority. I was too afraid to ask when students were supposed to pray.

After my last post, some commenters referred to a 2002 fire at a girls’ school in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Because they were not wearing proper religious garb, the girls were instructed to head back into a burning building. 15 girls died in the fire; who knows how many lives could have been saved if safety, not modesty, was the first priority.

I understand why PCC wants students to adhere to strict faith-based rules, but not when it could come at the expense of their own lives.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Matt

    I don’t understand why these students are leaving the building at all. Instead of an alarm shouldn’t a voice just come over the loudspeaker saying something like…

    “The purging flames of God’s eternal wrath are currently snooping out unbelievers in your building! Please pray in an orderly fashion and perhaps you will be spared.”

    • flakingnapstich

      They tried that, but the liberals in the state house threatened legal action over a couple sinners who died that way back in the 1970′s.

    • http://www.facebook.com/christina1066 Christina Wolf

      Because the residence managers would come back through to ENSURE we had all left the building before they would let anyone back in. PCC ’01-’05 ;)

    • Scott Spears

      Matt, we woke up the neighbors laughing at this comment at 1:30 AM. Thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/nettiestr8chillin Denette Brossett

      Omg I am sharing this just to show others this comment. It made me laugh so hard. lol

    • http://twitter.com/ravenclawwit ravenclawwit

      I feel kind of bad about it, but I really laughed out loud.

  • Richard Lucas

    I stand corrected. I truly did not think that PCC would stoop to reply to an atheist at all. I’m glad that they did though. At least now there is zero confusion as to what the priorities are at this particular institution.

  • hailey

    Those darn Christians and their fear of female thighs. As if all hell will break loose because a girl ran out in her undies. Yes, better to risk perishing in a fire than be labeled a temptress by ignorant college heads. What’s next? Risking a woman’s life to save a fetus that’s dying anyway? Oh, wait…

  • b s

    What are these girls ever doing wihout sensible clothes on anyway? Shouldn’t they be dressed in long sleve shirts and floor length skirts 24/7? They can shower in wetsuits too.

    • tim

      …and sprinkly talcum powder on the top of the water when they have a bath so they don’t see their own bodies and be tempted to “wash” them more vigourously than neccessary

      • Artor

        That’s a Catholic boarding school thing, isn’t it?

      • b s

        That’s what bubble bath is for

  • Greg G.

    I wonder if it’s the boys’ lust that concerns them? If the girls rush out immodestly dressed, the undersexed boys might be inclined to pull fire alarms just to ogle them. Too many false alarms would lead to people ignoring real alarms. In that way, they may be putting safety first in a ham-fisted way.

    Why throw firemen under the bus?

    • T D

      The fire alarms for each dorm are contained within the individual building. Considering the amount of oogling the girls in Bradley got from the boys in Coberly as we had our fire drills, I’m sure the alarms are within the “girl-only zone” for good reason

  • Rain

    It actually makes sense since Jesus has more power than fire. Only a caveman could possibly think “fire bad”. Fire not bad!

    http://www.morethings.com/fan/saturday_night_live/phil_hartman/losing_it0.jpg

  • Tim

    this is kinda insulting to the firefighters. On being called to a fire I suspect their first priority would be to do their jobs rather than oogle half naked students.
    Maybe they should call 911 and request that only gay firemen be sent.

    • Gus Snarp

      Well, to be fair, the notion that it would be tempting to firefighter is not necessarily part of the school policy. The school didn’t say that, they just said they ask “girls” to put on modest clothes. They’re probably more concerned with the temptation to male students and teachers than firefighters. Which is not to say that there aren’t religious people so blinkered that they would think that way, but at least in this case the school hasn’t been quite so dumb, dumb as they are, to say that it’s about tempting firefighters.

      I do wonder what the actual written wording of the policy is…

      • Stev84

        The boys wouldn’t even be tempted because the boys and girls dorms don’t evacuate to the same area. They’d still be separated. Confirmed by people who attended that hell hole.

        • Gus Snarp

          What, you don’t think those boys can sense a bare kneecap from a mile away? ;-)

          • talonts

            The strip joint less than 2 miles away as the crow flies might throw them off…

      • http://www.facebook.com/christina1066 Christina Wolf

        It was an “unwritten rule”, if I remember correctly.

    • Hat Stealer

      Simple fix. Simply limit the position of firefighter to asexuals only, preventing any type of lusting whatsoever. I’m sure that would work out just fine.

      OR, simply castrate everyone who becomes a firefighter. Anything to prevent that sin of finding someone attractive.

      Hell, lets just give all our public sevants lobotomies. Simpler that way. A blanket fix.

      • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

        “lets just give all our public sevants lobotomies”

        Judging by the stories we usually get here, someone already did.

      • talonts

        I think it would be far simpler to give the PCC administrators lobotomies. Oh, sorry, they’ve obviously already had them.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I’m a former firefighter I can assure you that there is way to much going through one’s mind to give a shit if people are clothed or not.

    • http://preciousscars.wordpress.com/2012/06/page/2/ pi31415

      It doesn’t work that way in this insular world. The firefighters are not responsible for containing their lust. Their lust is a direct result of the hoochie females wearing all those skanky pajama pants. Ergo, the women are the ones with the problem. The men are just the innocent victims here.

      *Signed, one who grew up in this environment and lived to tell about it

      • Kodie

        My hypothesis is that, if not told to rein it in, the girls will dress provocatively and try to hook up with the firefighters, because everyone knows how hot and lusty firemen are, so of course it will be the girls’ faults if they are distracting them from their job. I am basing this on a cultural objectification of firemen, not nubile young ladies dressed in their unmentionables. If not specifically told to cover up, they would find these men to be men and very hot, and try to flirt with them and delay putting out the fire. I don’t think they are even blaming firemen for having no control – I really think they think the women, given an opportunity to see men outside of their immature college Christian dork boys, will use the opportunity of a fire to plan the perfect tank and shorts nightwear combo, showing lots of leg and cleavage and fall over each other to land a hunk. This will make it their fault the fire raged on, possibly killing several who were fooled into looking for their skirt.

        I mean, I think the policy states they would be wearing “pants” to make the policy manual modest and not arouse… people who thoroughly read every page of it, and assumes ladies wear lacy skimpy things to bed in actuality. “Don’t show up to a fire in whatever sexy lingerie you wear to bed normally,” is the subtext.

        • http://preciousscars.wordpress.com/2012/06/page/2/ pi31415

          Oh, having been born and raised in the IFB, I won’t give PCC that much credit. We were taught that if a man lusts after a woman, he commits adultery with her in his heart, and that little word “with” implies that they are both equally guilty of the act. I’ve no doubt this is aimed at the girls inspiring lust.

          ” Of course, a man could lust after a woman and the woman not be at fault. However, if she is not following the divine principles, she sins as well. In reality, by her immodest clothing she shows that she is the one with the filthy mind.” ~David Riggs

          “(Modesty) protects our brothers in Christ from temptation and sin.” ~ Kristin Chesemore

          I could find thousands of quotes about how women are responsible for not tempting men. I can also promise you that “sexy lingerie” would never be acceptable at PCC. Heck, many of these colleges don’t even allow PJs with pants because they’re so “immodest.”

  • observer

    You wanna know something I find weird, if not creepy? does the school believe that this ought to be a universal rule regarding fire safety in general? Or is this rule only for the school?
    If the school believes in the latter, then wtf is going on with that school that mysteriously causes, in the case of a fire, firefighters to magically become lewed towards students just for the school, yet not anywhere else?

    I have to say though, if being burned alive is more important for society then being modest, than you’re in NO position to argue that a strictly “moral” society is good for everyone’s safety and health.

  • Gus Snarp

    What’s the policy for male students? And why are they girls? Aren’t college students men and women, not children?

    • blasphemous_kansan

      With faith like this, you’re a child forever.

      (assuming you lived through your literal childhood without perishing in a fire)

      • Artor

        Or an exorcism.
        Or a simple childhood illness.

    • JKPS

      My thoughts exactly. Do the men have to throw on a shirt? If so, is it outlined in the policy anywhere?

      And the email says “we ask students to…”. So is it not required? Will a student get written up or told to go back inside if they aren’t properly attired?

      • Gus Snarp

        I really want to see the actual written policy.

        • JKPS

          I didn’t see anything on their Pathway Student Resource Guide (http://www.pcci.edu/Admissions/Pathway.html), but I still recommend reading it because it’s clear that they do not consider their students to be adults in any way, shape, or form.

          • Stev84

            You should read some of the comments on the website that reported it. Apparently the older students see themselves as the Gestapo and would drag students out of their rooms in the middle of the night, sit them down in a chair, shine a light in the face and then interrogate them for hours about some perceived infractions.

            • T D

              Actually, as a former PCC student, it was the students in positions of authority in the dorms, along with the Resident Managers (PCC grads working as staff) that would do this. If you were suspected of certain infractions, they would prefer to take you out of your bed at night and question you, since you were (presumably) confused and afraid and could be coerced to confess your “crime” much more easily.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      I don’t know if it is anywhere near so outrageous as the women’s dress code, but the Pensacola men’s dress code includes the line “You may not allow the end of your belt to hang down from the belt-loops resembling a phallus.”

      • CarysBirch

        For the record, I’m thirty years old and still get seated with the kids in my fundy family because unmarried women aren’t adults. My brothers, two and seven years younger, respectively, and both unmarried are adults because they’re men. (ugh)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          Horrific gender discrimination would be entirely consistent with Pensacola’s pattern. I merely observe that they tell the men bizarre things too.

  • Jay

    I hope this is getting forwarded to the local firefighting authorities.

    • C Peterson

      Yes. They need to understand that if they rescue any women whose clothes are on fire, they are absolutely not allowed to pull the burning clothes away from their bodies. The school requires that they burn to death modestly.

  • C Peterson

    Not to excuse the policy… it’s idiotic and potentially dangerous, for sure. But I wonder if the students know when a fire alarm is a drill, as opposed to an actual emergency. Personally, if I knew it was a drill and I wasn’t wearing much, I’d throw on some clothes before leaving my room.

    Some facilities advertise drills in advance, some don’t.

    • William B

      This would be my question too. If it’s only a policy for drills and the students know the difference between a drill and an actual fire alarm, then this policy becomes a little understandable. If the drills are random and the students are unaware if it’s legitimate or not, then this is putting students’ lives at risk.

      • KeithCollyer

        and if they know the difference between a drill and a real fire, then the drills aren’t of much value

        • C Peterson

          Not so. Most places do announce drills in advance. Even when you know something is a drill, it still serves to keep people in practice, know their exits, know procedure. Indeed, by not announcing a drill, you risk people building up a tolerance to emergency situations- basically, if the last 20 times an alarm has gone off it’s turned out to be a drill, there’s a good chance that you aren’t going to be too concerned about alarm number 21… a real emergency.

          • KeithCollyer

            good point, and, like a good sceptic, I have changed my mind when presented with contrary evidence

    • JKPS

      I see what you’re saying, and if they’re advertising it in advance then I would for sure throw on some clothes if I wasn’t wearing much. But isn’t it kind of the point of a drill that you’re supposed to follow those procedures for the actual thing, too?

    • Pulse

      If I were notified in advance to expect a fire drill, then I would prepare some sort of ridiculous costume just to flaunt the policy.

      • CarysBirch

        “just to flaunt the policy.”

        You mean “just to flout the policy”. ;)

        • Artor

          Maybe he meant to flaunt something else?

          • Pulse

            Heh, my bad. Perhaps I meant both.

      • Charles Honeycutt

        You call it “The Policy”? ;-)

    • Kodie

      In most cases I’ve seen drills, or false alarms, and people who have been through a couple assume there is no emergency happening. Every once in a while, in my building, someone sets off their smoke detector cooking or showering and I wonder if I should bother to evacuate – the longer it goes off, the more worried I get. Having been in a burning building before, the idea that there is time to grab anything on the way out is the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard. When I was in the building, I heard one smoke detector in the hall go off and then a second, then I put on my pants and called the fire department – it felt silly and a waste of their time if it was not an emergency, which it usually is not. Within a few seconds, smoke was pouring under my door and then I felt even more silly. I had to yell for help out the only window I had to the exterior, and help my neighbor through my interior window to escape with me – someone came running and climbed up the fire escape attached to an adjacent building. At least I had the sense not to go out the front door when I heard the first alarm go off.

      Seriously, anyone who says they have time to cover up because their skirts are hanging inside a closet by the door has never been in a fire. And I know there are announced drills, but there is a problem in the first place assuming every alarm is just a drill. In the building where I live now, there are loud fire alarms in the hall, unmistakeable, but even sometimes, the handles are pulled accidentally. I have two exits in case one is blocked. It’s just that false alarms happen too often and people don’t really think there is actually a fire. “If I thought it was a drill..” how do you know unless it’s announced, and are you practicing for an actual fire or being trained that what appears to be an emergency is probably just a drill and you have plenty of time? Why do people continue to believe the fantasy of how much time you actually have to grab valuables – they have to be really conveniently placed, you can’t go find things hanging in a closet or placed by the wrong door. If I hadn’t been awake at 5 in the morning when my fire occurred, the smoke detectors would not have been loud enough to wake me up, and I might have had no spare seconds to escape the heavy smoke to put on clothes – my neighbor didn’t.

    • eric

      Of course you would. That is why the policy is bad and sexist. You don’t need to remind kids to put on clothes before exiting; they’ll do that anyway. Reminding girls to put on skirts is only necessary if you are worried they will pick the 5-second-delay-at-hand-jeans over the 20-second-delay-in-drawer-skirt.

      • Gus Snarp

        This entirely. I actually started to write a comment about how this was no big deal, wouldn’t we all throw on clothes on the way out anyway, when I stopped and deleted it because I realized that was the problem. Of course people are going to put on clothes, there’s no need to write it down in policy, people will make the decision they think is best for them and their safety. Once you write it down, then they have to think about other consequences and what to grab instead of just getting the hell out.

      • talonts

        If you think PCC girls even OWN jeans, you are sadly mistaken…

    • T D

      The policy is for drills and actual fires. Drills are unannounced, but happen starting about 10pm on a Friday 2-3 weeks into the new semester. When is as there, they would go one dorm at a time, so unless you were unlucky number 1, you had advance notice due to the shreaking alarms. Girls are not sent back inside if they are “inappropriately attired” but they are “written up” for the infraction.

      • T D

        *When I was there

  • griffox

    Is it okay for the “boys” to go out shirtless and in boxer shorts? Does the rule specifically single out females? Is that because women aren’t supposed to have any sexual desire or because only women have shameful shapes that need to be hidden?

  • Henry

    At (catholic) school when I was about 12 we were instructed by a teacher that if we were in a house fire and there was a baby in the house we should initially not pick up the baby and get the hell out of there.
    The most important thing we could do is stop, lick our thumbs and make a sign of the cross on the baby’s head as an impromptu baptism to save it from original sin. It was at that exact moment I realised everything my school and family had told me was wrong and I became an atheist.

    • KeithCollyer

      that is truly one of the most frightening things that I have ever read. and these idiots can vote

    • Space Cadet

      Wow. That kind of throws a monkey wrench into the whole “God is Love” thing, doesn’t it? If “God is Love” were true, it certainly wouldn’t require some hokey, superstitious ritual prior to saving a babies life.

    • Sue Blue

      Wow. Just….wow. The church that tells women they must, at all costs – even their own life – bring a pregnancy to term, but once it’s born, they can just run out of a burning house to save their own life and let the baby die. And they wonder why people become atheists.

      • Nate Frein

        While I get what you’re saying, that’s not what’s being said here. What Henry was taught is that taking the time to perform baptism is more important than both the mother AND the child’s life.

        Once that’s done, they can get out of the fire. But not first.

        • meekinheritance

          And the mother should put on a skirt first. A robe would even be fine.
          I think Henry got the point, even if PCC doesn’t.

          • Henry

            I just thought , ” A baby is incapable of sin. If there is a god and he would send a baby to hell for something someone else has not done then god is a b@stard.”
            As I was not immediately struck down by a lightning bolt I then of course realised god does not exist it was all just a con!

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hiyokah Mark Brewster

              Henry, I will defend your right to believe that; I choose to believe that you didn’t get struck by lightning because the “christian bible” is a crock of shit, and so are the churches. My 2c on that is, “Don’t blame the Supreme Being for what men do in His name.” But you do you, OK?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522900909 Judi Briggs

        No, you give the baby an impromptu baptism and then run out of the building with it. You can do both at the same time if you are talented and have spit available when terror strikes in the middle of the night. The point being that you gotta have your priorities…you have already been baptized but perhaps the baby has not.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522900909 Judi Briggs

          Not that I believe any of the above, or that you seriously believed that they meant to baptize and leave. I was raised awesomely liberally minded Protestant and none of the above would apply. Naked all persons safe baptism free exits from burning buildings would be the preferred to people dying hunting for skirts or looking for spit. But that is beside the point, I think.

    • Jayn

      So you can stop and give an impromptu baptism, but don’t worry about bothering to pick the damn baby up while you’re at it?

    • Ibis3

      Very similar to my 72 year-old mother’s story of deconversion. She was told by the nun who was her teacher that a baby born in a desert who died without baptism (because no water) wouldn’t be saved. No more Catholicism for her (though for some reason I was baptised anyway–I think for cultural reasons).

      • Mario Strada

        It’s the same reason why every baby in my family (save for my daughter) has been baptized. All the relatives, the same relatives that also don’t go to church except Easter and Xmas, expect you to baptize a newborn. It’s a ritual. It’s peer pressure as well, except that if you take each and every one of them aside and ask them, they are all doing it because of the other family members.

        That’s how powerful the Church is. It still controls even the secular families.

        At the very least, where I am from, we have the excuse that our churches are incredibly beautiful. A baptism is like a visit at the museum. I was baptized in St. Peter Basilica and I still have the silver medal to prove it.
        For those not familiar with it, imagine the Astrodome only made of Marble and precious jewels. It’s probably bigger too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hiyokah Mark Brewster

          I have a (now funny) parallel to that story, Mario.

          When my daughter, 15, was 4 months old, my mother asked me if I’d gotten her baptized yet. I said no, and explained what we did at the church we attended then. Her question was, “Do you WANT your child to go to Hell?”

          When I told her that I didn’t believe (her church’s ritual) that was based in true Scripture, she EXPLODED! We didn’t speak for MONTHS, but she sent me CHURCH PAMPHLETS to support her stance; all the bible passages in them were SUPPOSED to support it, but instead, if you’d READ them, REFUTED it! I knew then my days inside a church were numbered.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/BE-Miller/746752387 B.E. Miller

      Stories like this make me glad my Catholic upbringing was very liberal. (Along with several cousins, some of whom haven’t baptized their kids yet because they want the kids to make the decision on their own.) You don’t always have to follow everything the Hierarchy (ie Vatican and such) says.

      PS, God prefers kind Atheists over hateful Christians. (I want a bumper sticker that says that.)

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I sleep in my underwear. I would definitely throw on a pair of pants before leaving my apartment unless the fire were already in the room. I don’t see how that’s different. these are college kids. That skirt is probably on the floor beside the bed.

    • Space Cadet

      Of course, as humans, we all react to situations the exact same way. So because you feel that you would react a certain way in a hypothetical situation, it’s right to expect others to react similarly when that hypothetical becomes reality.

    • Pulse

      The difference lies in what you would choose to do based on your own judgment of the situation versus what these women are required to do based on policy regardless of their own better judgment.

    • Artor

      Probably, possible, but for certain, in someone’s room, it isn’t. If there’s a real fire, someone is going to have to waste valuable seconds to throw on a skirt, which happens to be the worst thing to wear in a fire, as it can catch fire itself pretty easily.

    • eric

      You are right, they will grab whatever’s at hand without any prompting. Thus, prompting them to grab a skirt can only result in some kids delaying to look specfically for a skirt. The policy can’t possibly speed evacuation up, can it? At best, if you were to ignore it altogether and just do what you’d normally do, it might not slow your evacuation down, but that’s at best.
      Thus, this is a bad policy. Its largely unnecessary, it can’t help the evac, and there’s a chance it might hurt the evac.

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        It is a dumb policy and one that I hope would not be enforced in the case of a real fire. A woman escaping from fire in her dorm room in her pajamas without a skirt who is expelled? That would be shameful. (Although I have to say that if such a school would do that to you, you’d be better off at another school anyway.)

    • Mario Strada

      Of course, unless the flames are actually licking my hairy butt, I’ll grab a pair of pants and possibly put on some shoes as well, which could come in handy if I had to walk on burning embers.

      What we are discussing here is the hilariousness of mandating which garment of what length and cut one should wear when fleeing from a fire. And to have that requirement only for women as far as I can tell. I suspect if men can grab a pair of shorts (especially if they are the shapeless, below the knee kind that all the non-conformist wear along with their non-conformist tattoos) no one is going to send them back into the roaring fire.

  • Miss_Beara

    They would rather have girls in knee length shorts/skirt than pj pants that cover the entire leg…

    Okkkkkkk…

    • Agrajag

      PJ pants are for *bed*. Young virile male firefighters go mad with lust if exposed to imagery which contains the suggestion that women sometimes are in beds. Glad to clear that up for you ! :D

      • Pepe

        Just reading what you wrote has made me mad with lust :P

    • Mario Strada

      Well, to be perfectly honest, what’s sexier? A ankle length skirt or a PJ?

      I don’t mean to justify the absurdity of even discussing what’s sexy or not in a building fire situation, but if I had a choice…

      Speaking of which, since their dress code resembles that of some victorian novel, wouldn’t it be a hoot to have the Firefighters show up riding a red horse drawn carriage and a big brass bell? They should all have handlebar mustache as well.

      And then have some honky tonk piano playing in the background…

      OK, I’ll stop here.

      • icecreamassassin

        “I’m more turned on by women in pajamas than lingerie. I just want to know they feel comfortable.”

      • Stev84

        Depends on your fetishes I guess :p

  • LenKoz

    No, you don’t understand. If the women’s bodies are displayed, then Jebus will cry and they can’t get into heaven. Much better to risk their mortal bodies than their immortal souls. Of course, god sees everything, so he’s seen them naked, uh oh, guess they’re going to hell anyway…

  • Sue Blue

    And then they wonder why people call them stupid, regressive, sexist, and just plain wrong. Not only is this risking life, it’s just ridiculous. Firefighters arriving on scene are going to be busy rescuing those girls when they pass out from smoke inhalation while trying to change into a skirt. They’re going to be cutting off any shirts and bras to give CPR. They’re not only going to see these girls’ dirty pillows, they’re probably going to see all their naughty bits. They see them all the time on the job, and I’ve never heard of a firefighter or EMT throwing down their gear and whipping it out because they’re overcome with lust during any rescue operation. Even bystanders are going to be too interested in whether all the students got out and what’s going on with the fire to care whether girls are showing some leg. Furthermore, why wouldn’t just grabbing a blanket be all right? You can cover up, use it to snuff flames and protect yourself from smoke inhalation. But no….it’s got to be a long skirt. What assholes. Parents should sue them immediately for reckless endangerment. They are probably also in serious violation of local fire codes.

    • eric

      Furthermore, why wouldn’t just grabbing a blanket be all right?

      Because this is a social policy about ensuring women wear proper attire. It has far less to do with a generic concept of ‘modesty’ than it has to do with social control.

      Let’s face it, everyone is going to want to cover up in such a circumstances. Sane people recognize that you don’t need policies that tell people to cover up with an available blanket or something before exiting a buildng because people will do that anyway. Nobody says to themselves “a fire drill! Finally, a chance to go outside in my tighty whities. Woo hoo!” The problem in a fire (drill) is getting people to delay less for things like personal items and clothing.
      This policy will have exactly the effect Hemant is worried about. By being specific about clothing type, it will result in students stopping and looking around for that clothing type rather than just getting the frak out of the building with whatever cover-up they have immediately at hand.

      • Sue Blue

        Yes, and then the students will have to be pulled out of the building by firefighters, who will then cut off their carefully-selected clothing in front of everybody, male and female, while they administer CPR or remove smoldering fabric. And of course, clothing is the first thing to burn, so any bodies the firefighter find will probably be naked, even if burned beyond recognition. This school couldn’t have formulated a more useless, senseless, and dangerous policy if they’d tried.

  • Nilanka15

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while now, and this story has to be one of the most nonsensical things religious nuts have ever done.

  • Stev84

    If you read the comments on that other site, you’ll see that even some other very, very fundamentalist colleges aren’t that crazy. Even at horrific places like Oral Roberts “University”, it would be perfectly acceptable to be half-naked in such a situation.

    Also note that they have extreme gender segregation in general. Male and female dorms aren’t in the same area and don’t evacuate to the same place.

  • Sue Blue

    A friend of my son’s went to this shitty college briefly back in 2000 when my son was stationed at the Navy base there. My son told me that his friend got kicked out for being seen walking on a local beach. He wasn’t with a girl – the crime was just walking in an area where he might be able to see girls wearing bikinis or shorts. And this is in Florida. I can’t imagine covering up completely in a climate like that. That’s just inhumane. I’m so glad he got kicked out, and so was he.

  • Lillynyx

    The sad part is that it would be so ingrained in the girls, I think many of them would stop to dress in more modest attire at risk of their own lives.

    • griffox

      This is exactly my problem with this type of enforced “Modesty.” I was raised with a high emphasis on modesty and I internalized the idea that my body was inherently shameful and perverse. Christian women are expected to be able to flip a switch when they get married and be comfortable shedding their clothes and having sex with their husband. That is just not feasible for a woman who has been taught to always cover and be ashamed of her body.

      I’ve been an Atheist for over ten years and I still find it difficult to be naked in front of another person and I know that I am not the only one who has had to deal with long-term effects of modesty/abstinence teachings. I will probably stay single for the rest of my life, because I just can’t enjoy sex. That is a part of my life that I can never get back because some asshole Christian thought girls should be held responsible for a man’s “lust”.

      • Mario Strada

        I had a friend with the very same issue. Her marriage ended because of it.
        Eventually, in the 30′s she found a great program in one of our local hospitals and for the most part she was able to get over it. At least enough to have a string of boyfriends and eventually get married and as far as I know (I live in a different town now) she is doing well as far as that’s concerned.

        I very much sympathize myself because while I don’t have a nudity issue, being a male and playing competitive sports, I grew up with this twisted attitude toward sex being “dirty” that still affects my life to an extent. Not quite enough to be an obstacle to happiness but enough to make me resent all the wrong teachings I was subject to growing up.

        Good luck to you.

      • Miss_Beara

        Wow, it was like I wrote this. I cannot enjoy sex at all, so much so I just do not do it. I don’t know if it physical, mental or a mixture of both. The nudity thing isn’t that big of an issue for me as much as it used to. The other “sexual no-no’s” that were ingrained aren’t really a problem for me.

        Have you been told the rose story? People pass a rose around the room but all the petals are off by the end and that is suppose to signify that the person is no longer wanted because nobody wants a used rose with no petals. This and the duct tape analogy, similar premise, is what I was taught. I don’t think it is even just a Christian school problem, it is a country wide school problem of teaching kids to feel disgusted and ashamed of their bodies and their sexuality.

        • griffox

          Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to know I’m not a complete anomaly, but I am sorry that you have similar issues. It’s been isolating, especially since so many non-christians (and many christians) are so sexually liberated. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people like us, we’re just on a different side of the spectrum.

          I was taught the rose story and the chewed up bubble gum story and I really took them to heart. I was also taught that masturbation was as evil as sex and basically that any sexual desire was satan – All this when I was a teenager with raging hormones and libido. I couldn’t help what my body was doing, but I believed I was a pervert and that what I was feeling was not normal. Also, no one talked about girls having sexual desire. I knew it was normal for boys. I think if I had been free to explore and fool around then, when I was less inhibited in general, I would have developed a healthy way to express my sexuality. Instead, I spent all that time putting up walls between myself and others and now I’m just royally fucked up. So, yeah, it sucks and I’m angry and bitter at the adults who were responsible. I haven’t completely given up, though.

          • Miss_Beara

            It never made sense to me that they teach that anything sexual is dirty, but you have to save it for your future spouse. Especially girl sexuality is dirty. It is difficult not to take to heart these things as a child. I was also taught about the evilness of masturbation, but that never had the same effect on me as sex has. I guess I never internalized threat of eternal damnation about masturbation (heh, that rhymed)like I did with sex.

            It might help to talk to a therapist about it even though talking about it might be embarrassing.

            You are definitely not the only one though.

        • Stev84

          So-called abstinence-only “education” is the norm pretty much everywhere in the US. And the government has poured hundreds of millions into it since the Shrub administrations. Usually it’s outsourced to Christian groups, so you get teachings like that. I’ve also read stories about used chewing gum and water with spit in it.

        • http://preciousscars.wordpress.com/2012/06/page/2/ pi31415

          The rose story is despicable. If the same “teacher” passed around a $100 bill, I’m pretty sure that no matter how many people touched it, it would still be highly desirable. It would even still be intact unless someone “abuses” it, i.e., crumples, wads or tears it. Damaged or not, most people would still want that $100 bill. Those who wouldn’t, I think we can safely say “Their loss.”

          I was molested before I was even old enough to understand I was damaged goods. I never even got a chance to be “pure.” In a sick (and looking back, very sad) way, that gave me a freedom that the pure and “innocent” girls never had. I was already defiled. I had nothing to lose by enjoying my sexuality. And so I did.

      • Teal

        I went to a Christian high school, and the prevailing attitude there seemed to be that as long as you were a virgin when you got married, all the issues one might suffer like insecurities and sexual dysfunction would simply just go away because you did things “the right way.” I bet the incidence of sexual dysfunction (emotional and physical) for people who were raised “religious” is quite high.

  • L.Long

    True fire or alarm? do not know what I would REALLY do because never had a real one. But I think I would do what I do in practice….Sit on my butt and wait for all the hysterical traffic to go by, while dressing warmly(as needed), and making sure I have my purse (yes I carry one) and laptop (boring just waiting around). More people get hurt in the panic rush then in the actual fire.

  • guest

    much ado about nothing IMO. Anyone with half a brain is going to exit a burning a building and not worry about what they are wearing before they step out. Anyone dumb enough to stop and change clothes with flames or smoke in the vicinity probably deserves to be “cleansed” by Gawd’s flames anyways. What, is the school going to suspend or expel a student running from a burning building without proper attire? I highly doubt it. Slow news week?

    • T D

      Unfortunately, yes. Girls would be in trouble if they ran out in pj pants or, Heaven forbid, underwear. I felt so bad for the girls in one dorm with oversensitive fire alarms that would go off if someone burned popcorn; there was always one girl who was in the shower and would be written up for being in a bathrobe that was “too short,” since the policy when I was there was that skirts had to go to the bottom of the knee, not just touching the top.

  • Ibis3

    This story brings back memories of my first year in uni. I was in residence on the 10th floor of an 11 floor building. In Ottawa, so for most of the school year it was basically winter weather. Yahoos thought it was fun to pull the fire alarm and get everyone to go outside in the middle of the night, so we’d get fake alarms sometimes 2 or 3 times a week (there were even several nights when we got more than one in a night). We all had our boots and winter coats prepped and ready to get into at the foot of the bed. Otherwise we’d end up standing out in the cold in our t-shirts and underwear. This went on for a couple of months before it stopped. (I’m guessing the authorities eventually cracked down because the fire department started charging the uni for the false alarms). I’m wondering if the girls at this school have a skirt hanging off the bedpost in case of emergency evac.

    • T D

      As a former student, I can tell you that most girls did have a skirt prepped when fire drills were rumored to be going on that evening. No one pulled alarms (in girls dorms at least) because that came with heavy punishment. I know of a few guys who did it to have an excuse to not show up for class, though…

  • Matt D

    It’s beyond contempible they’d prefer to let people die rather than excercise self control, but I expect little ethics or morals from those who see the human race as a mockery because some fairy tale told them to expect immortal happiness when ours ends.

  • Niemand

    What about the boys? Shouldn’t they also be required to grab some pants before exiting? Wouldn’t want the lusts of female firefighters inflamed, would we?

    • Teal

      *Gasp!* WOMEN should never have such an innapropriate job as being a firefighter!

  • Mario Strada

    What happens if the closet is on fire? If the very clothes you are supposed to be wearing are the first thing to burn?

    Do they provide a bottle of gasoline so you can at least make it quick and immolate yourself in the name of modesty?

    • Space Cadet

      “If all of your skirts are on fire, please take a moment to knit a new one before leaving the burning building.”

  • midnight rambler

    It seems odd that you’re focusing on this ridiculous and redundant policy – people are either going to grab something on their own initiative if there’s not smoke and fire in the room, or if there is they’re going to run no matter what the policy is – rather than on the hellacious story of the original article. I mean FFS, read the story and its other parts – the fire dress code is the least bad thing about PCC.

  • Mark Hunter

    It’s a stupid policy for the motive not for the result but… when I was in the army I always slept with my boots and a fire blanket at the foot of my bed. When the fire bell rang, my room mate and I jumped into our boots grabbed the fire blanket and proceeded with all hast out of the barracks.

    Now in Canada, even in summer, it can get quite cool at 3 am so having a blanket wrapped around me (we were the only two that had our fire blankets) was not a bad idea.

  • Verimius

    Those rules should be reviewed by the local fire marshal.

    • Stev84

      They’d claim their religious freedom is violated.

  • SeekerLancer

    I don’t think I can describe how angry this makes me.

  • Beutelratti

    “For your convenience we placed the closets right next to your doors so that it should be easy to grab the proper garment in case of emergency”

  • SteveS

    The whole awful concept is founded on a meme – a mind virus – these nitwits are infected with. They believe that their god gave them a body which they must cover at all costs – even death. It is sad, stupid and utterly pathetic – and most of them are so inculcated they can’t see that. That is why they are at PCC and not a real university.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519196878 Kari Wagaman-Strand

    wow…. Amazing how pure and holy these people are considering they think more about sex and what is under the girls skirts than their safety. I think anyone in a crisis such as a fire is thinking more about safety and putting the fire out. Than “Lust” and doing perverted acts to these girls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angie.c.davis Angie Deskins Davis

    I went to this college, graduated from there. I agree the policy is messed up, but at the time, I just went along with it all. Most of us attending had similar rules growing up so it wasn’t much different there. Many, many more ridiculous and degrading rules – in bed by 11pm and said pajama pants could only be worn 15 minutes before bed and not a minute earlier. Fire drills always happened at this time too…and yes, absolutely we had to dress appropriately for the drill or receive demerits. Frequently, the guys were gotten out of bed and lined up facing the hall walls to do a “hair check” – no hair over their collars. Just a few examples. After I left, I remember a horrible hurricane hitting Pensacola and the town was evacuated–but the students were not allowed to leave! Then at last minute when all the gas in town was gone, they (PCC) allowed them to evacuate, which most could not at that point. I was SO, SO upset about that. Unlike some here, I have never chosen to be an atheist though I very much disagree with these rules and how “Christians” act. It never ever has anything to do with how other people perceive God, it’s how God and me commune together. And God is awesome. People promoting God and ridiculous rules…not so much.

  • Unfundy

    I wonder if PCC fired whomever wrote that last response. The word “quick” should be “quickly”. Adjectives never modify verbs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BonnyMacLeodDennis Bonny Dennis

    Unfortunately. It seems that women are not valued in Strict Christian views. They are seen as simple vessels to bear children and a plaything for men.disgusting in my views.

  • grinninglibber

    Bat shit nutty fundies

  • Karl Johanson

    When faith is given credibility as a tool to understand the universe, no flavor of espoused nonsense should come as a surprise.

  • karenbrown65

    Weird part about this is, a pair of baggy pajama pants is probably less ‘tempting’ than a skirt, even if a firefighter has time or attention to be tempted while FIGHTING a FIRE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tandy.byrd Tandy Byrd

    Is no one distressed that a spokesperson on of a college used “quick” when “quickly” was the appropriate word?

    One begins to doubt the worth of the education folks might be getting here.

  • Jerry

    This is just too silly! Do the people in charge have any idea how fast a fire will snuff
    lives out?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ralph.ciardella Ralph Ciardella

    Wouldn’t a skirt be MORE tempting? It works for me!

  • Terri Hemker

    Someone seriously needs to call the Fire Dept. in that city and advise them of this so that they can take the proper steps to instruct the college numbskulls and prevent a catastrophe.

  • Scott Spears

    There’s really only two possibilities. Either there is a God or there isn’t. If there is, then He’d be awfully upset that things like this are being carried out under the protection of His name. If there is not, then we’re being awfully stupid to allow such ignorant things to go on out of fear of upsetting some religious people. Either way, I’m disgusted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522900909 Judi Briggs

    Jesus harvested wheat on the Sabbath. He would have said, “Get out, Women!! You can get forgiveness later. This death/martyrdom stuff is overrated. I know. Been there done that. They say I wrote the book too, but that’s a whole different debate.”

  • LivinginVA

    “A robe would even be fine.” I would be SOOO tempted to buy a thigh length satin robe.

  • KyukiYoshida

    This is why you never go to any school, that is based on or preaches religion, they almost always put their damn god and gospel before the lives, safety, and education of their students. Fuck your religion and your modesty, their students or their parents pay them to ensure they have a safe and educational college experience, not so you can run modesty checks in life threatening situations. And if someones daughter loses their life in a fire due to their policies, the only one that will have hell to pay is them. Not only is this outrageously life-risking and ignorant, it’s entirely sexist.

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    We provide fire safety training courses at our four training centres or on-site at your premises anywhere in the UK – depending on course and client requirements. Training centres are located at in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Milton Keynes. These training centres have lecture rooms for up to 15 students with audio/visual facilities and refreshments, and an outside area for practical exercises using fire extinguishers on live fire scenarios.


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