Female students at two Chicago-area high schools are speaking out and organizing via social media to protest against a dress code they say is sexist.
Students at McHenry East and West High Schools, in McHenry, say a dress code that bans students from wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses unfairly targets girls, WMAQ News reports.
“You can show anything but your shoulders,” Hailey Everhart, one of the students behind the protest, told WMAQ. “That’s all they care about.”
And that’s unfair to the female students, she said.
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“Boys don’t really wear as much that show their shoulders, where girls do,” Everhart noted.
Violation of the code can reportedly get a student a warning, then possibly a detention.
In a written statement sent to WMAQ, the school stood by the code and said it is not a new policy.
“The dress code policy is conducive to the district as well as the students,” the statement read. “It's unfortunate that some parents and students don't adhere to this policy.”
But to protest the code, students created a Facebook page to urge girls to wear sleeveless tops in a peaceful demonstration against the policy.
“We realize that now that the administration knows about what we are doing they will try to scare us with threatened consequences,” an August 24 post on the page reads. “You have to understand that there is a chance you will get in trouble, and you have to accept that. There isn't really much they can do. If you get in trouble Thursday and are asked to change just simple say, ‘I am peacefully protesting and i am not going to change.’”
The reason for the protest is simple, according to those posting on the page.
“This page is to get the attention of schools that limit girls to what they should wear to school because we will distract boys from learning, when the reality is the schools should be teaching boys not to think of girls as sexual objects,” a portion of the page reads, according to the Daily Mail.
And if the goal was “attention,” they seem to have been successful.
An Aug. 25 post to the page noted the story had been picked by numerous television stations, magazines and newspapers and that the protest was being canceled. The post suggested that some students were working, through administrative channels, to get the code amended.
“Hello everyone, we have decided to once again cancel the protest,” the post reads. “For we have been told by the same group of senior girls we have been talking to that they've got this under control and are going to follow the appropriate steps to changing it.
“Thank you everyone for all the support and helping making it so big and noticed."
Photo Credit: Facebook: Disapproval of the school dress code