School Sends Girl Home For Wearing Leggings

| by Sheena Vasani
Bailey O'RourkeBailey O'Rourke

A Houston-area family is outraged after their daughter's school sent her home for wearing leggings on April 13.

“I've worn leggings so many times, so many girls have worn leggings,” said eighth-grader Bailey O'Rourke of Willow Wood Junior High, who says she wore a long top over the leggings, reports KSAT.

But administrators told her this time she could face in-school suspension for wearing the outfit.

"They told me I had to go home. They said, 'Stand back' so I took a step back and they said, 'Stand straight' and they said, 'You need to go home and change,'” said Bailey.

The school handbook says, “leggings may only be worn under a mid-thigh length top or skirt,” which Bailey’s mother, Angela Hartman, says she was wearing.

“I thought it was completely unnecessary. There was nothing wrong or inappropriate with what she was wearing,” said Hartman.

Bailey added this has happened to more than 100 girls. A district spokesperson disagrees and said only 10 students were asked to change their clothing. They were then sent back to class without punishment.

It’s not the first time a school’s legging policy has sparked controversy, angering many parents, reports Evanston Patch.

In 2014, Haven Middle School in Evanston, Illinois, captured national attention for its dress code, which included banning girls from wearing leggings and tight yoga pants.

“We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids," Haven Middle School parents Juliet and Kevin Bond, both educators themselves, wrote in a letter. "Under no circumstances should girls be told that their clothing is responsible for boy's bad behavior. 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.”

The parents continued by arguing school policies like these contribute to the greater problem of rape culture.

Sources: KSAT, Evanston Patch / Photo credit: KSAT 

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