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School removes 'sexist' quote that told girls to 'act like a lady'

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/18/2018 Joel Shannon
a screenshot of a cell phone: A tweet posted by Lisa Beckman on Friday criticizes a quote that was found at Gregory-Lincoln Middle School in Houston Independent School District. The quote was later removed by the district. © Screen capture of a tweet by Lisa Beckman A tweet posted by Lisa Beckman on Friday criticizes a quote that was found at Gregory-Lincoln Middle School in Houston Independent School District. The quote was later removed by the district.

A Texas school district has removed a quote that was painted above lockers at a middle and elementary school after the quote sparked criticism online this week.

"The more you act like a lady, the more he'll act like a gentleman," the quote read, according to a tweet posted by Lisa Beckman on Friday.

Beckman said the quote was found at Gregory-Lincoln Middle School in Houston Independent School District. Students in kindergarten through 8th grade attend the school, according to its website.

The quote is commonly attributed to Sydney Biddle Barrows, a controversial businesswoman known as the “Mayflower Madam." Barrows was convicted of promoting prostitution in 1985 after being accused of running an escort service, according to University of Virginia archives.

Hours after Beckman's tweet began gaining attention, the school removed the quote, according to a statement obtained by KHOU News.

Please be advised that the quote on the wall of Gregory Lincoln PK-5 Education Center has been removed. Overnight, the wall decal letters were taken down, the wall was floated out, and new slab of drywall was installed and painted.

Beckman told the station that she received the photo from a friend. Her tweet criticizes the quote, accusing it of "perpetuating horrible gender stereotypes, shaming women, and relinquishing boys of all responsibility. It's sexist, mysogonistic (sic), and discriminatory!"

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Beckman's tweet was retweeted and liked thousands of times. She tweeted her thanks to the school district Saturday morning: "I see this as proof that our elected officials listen when we speak up."

Contributing: Emily Reaux, Lauren Talarico, Chloe Alexander — KHOU-TV, Houston

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