High School Boys Wore Dresses to School in Protest of the Dress Code
News| | By Margo Gothelf
Many students at a high school in Clovis, California, protested their school’s dress code by doing a little clothing swap.
When the students at Buchanan High School showed up for class, the boys were in dresses and the girls sported collard shirts and button-downs.
— kristian (@palbanjo) January 29, 2016
Buchanan High School’s dress code is very strict and limits the students to what they can wear at school. Boys are required to keep their hair short enough for their earlobes to be visible and can not wear any type of earrings. On the girls’ side, shoulder straps have to be two inches or thicker and leggings with covers shorter than four inches above the knee are not tolerated. The dress code was set in 1975.
“The reason we switched gender norms for the day was to make the statement that what we wear does not define us as students,” student Emma Sledd told the Tri-City Herald. “Our district’s dress code should not favor or discriminate any gender. We believe everyone should be able to express themselves equally. A boy with long hair is no less of a hard worker than a girl with long hair.”
The discussion of changing the dress code was prompted last summer after Buchanan High School student William Pleasant was not allowed to enroll for his senior year because of his long hair. Pleasant wrote an open letter, explaining his frustrations with the policy.
“I want to know why girls can have short or long hair but men are forced to have short hair,” Pleasant wrote.
Many of the students took to social media to share their frustrations about the dress code.
What hurts your district's image more: a kid with piercings or a board who doesn't believe gender equality is a valid idea to be considered
— Nicholas Crespin (@CrespinNicholas) January 28, 2016
During the swap, no male students were written up for wearing dresses, however two girls were written up because of shirts that said, “dress code sucks.”
so i got called into the vice principles office about my jacket hahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha pic.twitter.com/tbQKPTzr72
— nina BASHerian (@lilgayplant) February 2, 2016
District spokeswoman Kelly Avants told The Bee that all students are protected under the current dress policy.
“If a student has come to the administration, we’ll work with them to make sure that they have an environment on campus that allows them to express themselves with the gender in which they identify,” Avants shared.
Rei Bioco, a student from Buchanan High School, started an online petition to amend the dress code after she saw many of her fellow classmates speaking out on social media.
“In one day, we gathered one thousand votes,” Bioco told BuzzFeed News. “While some teachers dress-coded a few of the people in protest, most of our upper administration is supportive of what we’re doing.”
The petition currently has 3,300 votes.
— Rei (@hellarei) January 28, 2016