An Illinois school dress code flier handed out to parents July 25 has sparked controversy, with some accusing the campus of sexism.
Freeburg school officials sent the flier to parents after noticing a spike in dress code violations over the past year, KSDK reports.
“It was a different way to get the message out to parents and students early enough for them to prepare before the start of school,” Freeburg Superintendent Tomi Diefenbach said, the St. Louis Patch reports.
The handout features drawings of inappropriately dressed men and women, and most people found the depictions of women particularly upsetting.
Some of the females, the handout explains, look “ladylike,” while others are dressed in a “distracting” and “revealing” way, with phrases like “Reflect RESPECT” sprinkled throughout.
“The pictures, the phrasing, the sexism in it," said alumna Lindsey Mank, an alumna of the school. "There’s not many depictions of males in the entire flier.”
“It blew up,” she said. “Everybody had an opinion about it.”
Mank adds she is also upset by the fact the dress code is forcing girls to wear extra long shirts over leggings or other form-fitting pants.
“It’s just demeaning to these girls that are now buying clothes two sizes too big, just to be able to [conform] to these rules that are now being put into effect," Mank said. "So they have to change their entire wardrobe, just to go to school and get an education.”
Audrey Proctor, 18, whose sisters attend the school, agrees.
“Heaven forbid you can see an 11- or 12-year-old’s underwear lines through their yoga pants,” Proctor said. “That should have nothing to do with the respect they deserve.”
Diefenbach said that the dress code has not actually changed much from how it has always been. Nevertheless, she is open to suggestions on how to better illustrate dress code violations on future fliers.