Around 1 p.m. today, the hashtag #lookadouche showed up on the Twittersphere. A group of students at Richardson High School were skipping regularly scheduled math or science classes to attend an optional PTA-sponsored assembly.
The day's guest speaker was a motivational speaker who has co-authored faith-based dating books, Dateable: are you? are they? and The Dateable Rules. His name: Justin Lookadoo.
The students first learned of Lookadoo on Tuesday, when teachers informed them that today's classes would be canceled or shortened because of a special assembly. Upon hearing the news, Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, mother of a RHS student and a professor at Southern Methodist University, visited Lookadoo's website. She, along with several other parents, took their concerns to the principal and other school officials, as well as to their social media networks.
"I am extremely troubled by the fact that Richardson High School would bring in an 'expert' speaker who holds the dangerous, misogynistic views that advance a rape culture such as those expressed on his website," Clark-Soles said. "I was given no information about an unnamed speaker on an unnamed subject."
At first the assembly was to be postponed, then students were told it would take place but be optional. It went on as scheduled.
On his website, which was made public to the students, Lookadoo touts materials that include a list of "Dateable girls rules." On that list are rules including, "Be Mysterious. Dateable girls know how to shut up" and "Let him lead. God made guys as leaders. Dateable girls get that and let him do guy things. ... Which means they don't ask him out!!!"
As for the "Dateable Boy," Lookadoo and co-author Hayley DiMarco want young people to know: "Being a guy is good. ...They are stronger, more dangerous and more adventurous and that's okay." Also: "Men of God are wild, not domesticated. ...They fight battles, conquer lands and stand up for the oppressed." You can read all of the "cool rules" here.
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Sarah Roeschley, the associate director of senior high youth at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, says her high school group reaches many of the RHS students. She calls Lookadoo's ideas "antiquated and sexist, gender-stereotyped B.S."
"I'm mortified that this went on, and I apologize to the students of Richardson High School on behalf of Christians everywhere," Roeschley says. "Lookadoo is wrong."
While the assembly itself was not to contain any faith-based doctrine or direct references to the "rules," students obviously found the rules, and reports on Twitter say the talk came across as "a rant against women." Several students are reported to have walked out of the assembly early.
A very Dateable Spokeswoman at RISD didn't return calls for comment.