Dress code violation has been in the news a lot lately. Parents are often infuriated when their child in singled out for not following the dress code and many people feel the rules are sexist for mostly targeting what girls wear. One Virginia teen has taken it upon herself to fight back against her school’s dress code standards and punishment.
Today reports abot Virginia high school senior Lydia Cleveland who takes offense when her school forces dress code violators to wear a pair of ‘shaming’ sweat pants with the words ‘dress code’ scrolled down one leg. Cleveland also feels that the rules unfairly target girls and the boys in her school who do violate dress code are not usually punished.
The high school senior feels that things like victim blaming and dress code violations can go hand in hand. In one instance, Cleveland says that her female friend was made to change her shorts because a school official said she “filled them out too well.”
And if a student doesn’t have someone from home to bring them a new set of clothes they are forced to wear the ‘dress code’ sweatpants. Cleveland understands that in some instances when the dress code truly is violated a student must change into something else. She says, “Obviously, they're going to have to give people something to change into, but even plain sweatpants would be enough shame, frankly. I don't think you need to write 'Dress Code' on it. Everyone knows what they're for.”
Cleveland is most upset that the dress code guidelines in her school district are too vague and leave a lot up to interpretation. She questions how they can follow the rules if they don’t know exactly what they are. In an effort to create more transparency and get rid of the ‘dress code’ sweatsuit Cleveland has written to school administrators, started a petition among parents and has an upcoming meeting with county school officials to discuss the dress code.
What do you think of this student’s efforts to make her school dress code’s policy more fair?
Do you think schools need to reexamine the way they handle dress codes for girls?