RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County School Board members will discuss changing the district’s dress code policy for the first time in 17 years Tuesday.
Several Wake County Public School System students said they would support a more equitable policy, saying the current dress code unfairly targets female students.
“I watched a girl in my class maybe three days ago get dress coded on her shoulders because they were distracting and inappropriate. That was the words that the teacher used, and I don’t understand how shoulders are inappropriate,” said Millbrook High School junior Kyla Jarrett.
While Jarrett agrees the school needs a policy to make sure students are dressed appropriately, she wants a more equitable dress code.
Last week, Jarrett and several classmates vented on Twitter about flyers put up at the school underlining the district’s policy, which some called sexist.
“Why should our bodies, what we’re born with, why is that a distraction to a boy in the classroom? We feel like we are targeted, and we feel like they don’t put restrictions on guys when it comes to the dress code,” Jarrett said.
Before the 2002-03 school year, the school district changed the dress code and included 11 examples of clothing that was not allowed. Examples included exposed undergarments, sagging pants, crop tops, and excessively short or tight garments.
WCPSS board members have discussed changing the dress code for months. The proposal going before Tuesday’s policy committee would allow students to wear some currently banned items.
“I think students would like there to be a change in the way the dress code is worded,” Jarrett said.
The new proposal omits wording about “revealing,” or “provocative” clothes. It says fabric must cover a student’s front, back, and sides, and be suitable for class activities.
Click here to read the new proposal.