Haven Middle School in Evanston, Ill, recently told parents that girls will not be allowed to wear shorts, leggings, or yoga pants because the clothing may be “too distracting” for boys.
Now, parents and students are protesting the new policy, which they believe to be sexist.
“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,” seventh-grader Sophie Hasty told the Evanston Review. “We just want to be comfortable!”
Over 500 students have signed a petition against the new policy and some girls are intentionally wearing leggings and yoga pants to school in protest.
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Patch.com reports that parent Juliet Bond sent a letter to school principal Kathleen Roberson that read:
We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids. Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behaviors. This kind of message lands itself squarely on a continuum that blames girls and women for assault by men. It also sends the message to boys that their behaviors are excusable, or understandable given what the girls are wearing. And if the sight of a girl's leg is too much for boys at Haven to handle, then your school has a much bigger problem to deal with.
In a letter sent by Roberson to parents on March 18, she stated:
It has been communicated to students that if leggings are worn, a shirt, shorts, or skirt worn over them must be fingertip length. At Haven, dress and appearance are important components of an overall positive and respectful learning environment.
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There is a school meeting scheduled for today to hash out the dress code issue.