This New School Dress Code Might Just Be The Most Body Positive Of Its Kind
School dress codes are strict as hell. Here in the UK, dress codes focus on the length of skirts, the tucking in of shirts, the length of ties and whether your top button's done up or not. But in the US, where most schools don't enforce an actual school uniform, dress codes are ten times worse.
More often than not, dress codes condemn the sight of legs, shoulders, collarbones and young girls are often those who are policed for their fashion choices. Many get sent home from school to change, due to the tighter fitting of a top or too much skin causing a potential distraction for male students. This idea in itself is a problem, as it shows girls from a young age that not only are they sexual objects for the viewing pleasure of men, but - when they're sent home - that their education takes a lower priority over that of a boy's.
Recently, a school in South Carolina enforced a rule within the dress code whereby students bigger than a size 2 (a UK size 6) were banned from wearing leggings, after a school principal said it makes them 'look fat'. Luckily, a school in Chicago restored a bit of faith as they released their updated dress code. And it's woke as hell.
Evanston Township High School surveyed their students about the dress code that was in place, and worked with their responses in order to build something new from scratch to protect students, especially female students. The school started by removing any body shaming language from the dress code, and worked to stamp of body policing, humiliation, or discrimination.
'Staff shall enforce the dress code consistently, and in a manner that does not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income or body type/size,' the policy says.
'Students should not be shamed or required to display their bodies in front of others (students, parents or staff) in school. Shaming includes, but is not limited to […] accusing students of ‘distracting’ other students with their clothing.'
Usual no-gos such as spaghetti straps and fitted trousers (including leggings) are allowed, amongst many other usually contraband items of clothing. Of course it's not a complete free-for-all, with the rules outlining that no clothes that depict the likes of hate speech, profanity, pornography, violence or drug use, are allowed. Aside from that, the school are focusing on a no-shaming policy with aims to improving each student's education, rather than chastising them for what they're wearing.
Maybe send a copy of that dress code to South Carolina?