A California school district rolled out a new dress code policy in July — and some of the permissible articles of clothing are causing controversy in one community.
What are the details?
The dress code, which went into effect for the 2018-19 school year, will permit students to wear body-baring articles of clothing including tube tops, hats, midriff-baring shirts, sweatpants, torn-up jeans, and pajamas.
There is no apparent limitation on the length of students' shorts, or how tight their dresses can be.
The Alameda Unified School District introduced the revised dress code policy for a yearlong trial period.
Though new articles of clothing — such as the stomach-baring tube top — are now permitted, a general rule will still be enforced that the articles of clothing are required to cover "genitals, buttocks, and areolae/nipples with opaque material."
Other limitations include bans on clothing with imagery depicting profanity, pornography, drugs, alcohol, violence, hate speech, or similar items of such offensive natures.
According to a Sunday article in the San Francisco Chronicle, a district representative said that the school board voted to change the dress code after several female students said that they felt body-shamed by enforcement of the district's previous dress code.
The district's website also notes that the change was effected in response to changes proposed by a "work group and based on work by the Oregon chapter of the National Organization of Women."
You can read the district's revised dress code here.
What are people saying about this?
According to the Chronicle, district officials said that they will take into consideration feedback from teachers, parents, and guardians on the policy once school kicks into high gear this year. The school board will review the feedback in the spring to determine if the policy needs to be further tweaked.
One parent, Margo Dunlap, told the outlet that she is on board with the new code.
"There’s an opportunity to listen to the young people,” Dunlap said. “They’re dressing in a way that’s comfortable for them."
Henry Mills, a 14-year-old student who also pushed for the dress code change, explained that old way of thinking was "unhealthy."
“Before, kids were afraid to walk in the crosswalk because the crossing guard would say, ‘Hey, your shirt’s too short, hon,’” Henry said. “It was really unhealthy.”
Another parent, Chandra Thompson, told KGO-TV that she doesn't think the dress code is a good thing.
"No, that's not OK. I think they should dress appropriate," said Chandra Thompson, the mother of an Alameda High sophomore.
Thompson's daughter, Nalani, echoed her mother's sentiments.
"Not a crop top, not a tank top. It should be covered up, especially girls," Nalani said. "Because boys might get the wrong message."
The new policy received criticism as well as praise on social media.
One user wrote, "Good! It's 2018, let's stop shaming the female body and let's have higher expectations of the men in their lives."
Another said, "[I'm] happy for them :) [That's] how it was when [I] was young then in the 90's everything became judgemental and natzi [sic] like."
Another user added, "Stop Exploiting Children. Parents step up and care."
And another user wrote,"[I]t's not about shaming the body, it's about being in school for a reason. [B]elieve it or not ... some clothing on girls, can be a distraction to some boys. [I]t's not shaming. These aren't women, yet, and these aren't men, yet ... [I]t's part of puberty... get over [yourself] and the thought that this is some type of body shaming crap ... [I]t's about why are you there and doing what needs to be done. School ain't some [expletive] fashion show ... it's about learning and growing to be an adult."