A Northern California father is fighting to change the dress code at his daughter's middle school after she was told her clothes were "too distracting" to boys at school on Aug. 23.
Investment banker Tony Alarcon was outraged when Fisher Middle School told his 13-year-old daughter, Demetra Alarcon, to change twice in one day because of her clothes, the Daily Mail reports.
It all started when school officials said Demetra's blue romper was too short.
As a result, Tony had to bring a new outfit to school: a tank top and shorts. But the school also objected to the new clothes.
Officials said the shorts were shorter than the 4-inch inseam required by the dress code.
"I was told the shorts weren't appropriate," Tony told KTVU. "I had to go back into the car, where I luckily had a pair of leggings as a backup."
While the father complied with the requests, he was angry.
"I mean, today it's 90 degrees outside and she's wearing leggings because she doesn't want to be dress-coded for wearing shorts," Tony told KPIX-TV, noting it's also hard to buy shorts that meet the school's requirements. "And it's not OK. It needs to change."
"Demetra isn’t alone," he added, reports The Mercury News. "Just sit in Fisher’s parking lot and you’ll see that. I’ve heard from multiple girls that they just want to be comfortable, but they feel like they’re being pushed into wearing leggings in 100-degree heat. I was told by an administrator that the girls’ clothes are a distraction to the boys. That shouldn’t be a concern."
Tony turned to social networking service NextDoor to express his frustration, and ended up gaining the support of many parents and neighbors.
"Your post has reminded me of some fairly serious body image issues of my own that have stemmed from our cultural shaming and sexualizing of girls' bodies," one of his neighbors wrote.
Now, with the support of the community, he is pressuring the school to make changes.
"We have to have dress codes that are fair and reasonable, and don't cause them emotional issues -- cause them to question their bodies or feel like they're sex symbols at 13 years old," explained Tony. "Because they're not. They're just kids."
"You have to stand up for what’s right and that’s what I’m doing," he added.
Although Los Gatos Union School District Superintendent Diana G. Abbati declined to speak to reporters directly about the situation, the district did release a statement.
"Students are expected to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities in which they participate," it partially reads.