US

Texas school district accused of gender bias after male student was disciplined for wearing makeup

The Alvin Independent School District in Pearland, Texas, is considering a change to a dress code policy that allows males to wear makeup. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Alvin Independent School District in Pearland, Texas, is considering a change to a dress code policy that states males cannot wear makeup, according to published reports.

Why is this happening?

It's happening because a student at Shadow Creek High School was recently given an ultimatum to either remove his makeup or receive an in-school suspension. The student received the suspension after he refused to remove his makeup.

That led a classmate to start an online change.org petition, and now the district is reconsidering its policy, KHOU-TV reported. Within four days, the petition received 1,500 signatures and it has a goal of 2,500.

The petition maintains that the district's makeup policy for males represents gender bias.

One of the student’s biggest supporters is a female classmate.

“I’m actually not a huge makeup person,” Shadow Creek High School student Jasmine Richards told KHOU.

But she believes her male friend who enjoys wearing makeup should be able to do so at school.

The petition states:

“Alvin ISD has a dress code policy in place that includes several gender biased policies such as preventing boys from wearing makeup and earrings (both things that girls are allowed to wear). These policies are based entirely on outdated and sexist gender standards. Prohibiting boys from wearing makeup because makeup is “only for girls” also prohibits them from expressing themselves in what is supposed to be a safe environment. A boy wearing makeup should not be considered any more distracting than a girl wearing makeup. These policies harm young boys by telling them that they are not allowed to participate in the same forms of self expression that girls are, simply because they are boys. This has to change. We are asking for Alvin ISD to review and modify their dress code so that it is free of gender discrimination.”

The school district took notice, and plans to meet with students to discuss their request.

Assistant Superintendent Daniel Combs told Yahoo Lifestyle news that the experience was a “good learning opportunity” for the district.

“We started a great dialogue and allowed the students to share their insight, share their perspective, and share their concerns,” Combs said. “And working together with the students, we talked about what’s a good course of action moving forward. As a district, we are going to put together a committee that will allow our community, our parents, as well as our students, to have a voice, and go back through the process to look at our dress code, and again, identify areas of concern and make recommendations.”

The goal of the school district, Combs reportedly said, is “to serve each student as an individual.”

What have parents said?

Parents appeared split over the issue, KHOU reported.

“I don’t know. If it was my kid, I wouldn’t want him wearing makeup to school,” parent Luke Perry told the TV station.

Parent Kim Becker said: “We’re in an environment these days that we should embrace everyone.”

One last thing…
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