School Dress Code's 'Distracting' Leggings Battle Rages on


The fight to ban leggings rages on in middle America, but this time protestors sported a snappy new signs with the tagline: “Are my pants lowering your test scores?” Oh, burn.

Last week, we wrote about the debate over leggings in Evanston, Illinois, where female students must meet the following requirements, per the Evanston Middle School dress code: “Shorts, dresses, and skirts must extend closer to the knee than the hip, short shorts or skirts and leggings are unacceptable attire. Pants and shorts must be worn at the waist.” But this debate isn’t so much about clothes as it is about gender roles and community reaction. If a girl wants to wear leggings, then male students should be educated and prepared enough not to act a fool when their classmates walk by in their clothes. Let’s teach the babies before they get that office job and get fired for sexual harassment, shall we?

In fact, one 13-year-old student, Sophie Hasty, put it perfectly over at Slate, saying, “Not being able to wear leggings because it’s ‘too distracting for boys’ is giving us the impression we should be guilty for what guys do.” One parent even echoed Hasty’s statement, saying that the shapelier students are more often targeted by teachers and reprimanded for not following the dress code — their curves are literally breaking the law.

Lucy Shapiro, a 12-year-old seventh grader at the school, backed up this claim, telling the Evanston Review that “when both she and a friend were wearing the same type of athletic shorts … a teacher came up and ‘dress-coded’ her, but not her friend” because, she was told, “I had a different body type than my friend.” Added Shapiro: “With all the social expectations of being a girl, it’s already hard enough to pick an outfit without adding in the dress code factor.”

Evanston’s school district promises to further discuss their controversial dress code later this month, which mean this week we imagine, “in an effort to ensure consistency in terms of guidelines and enforcement across schools.”

Image via Getty.

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