A Chicago school doesn’t have any rules against wearing leggings but girls keep getting called out for doing just that. Some parents feel certain students are getting unnecessarily picked on, and it’s tantamount to body-shaming. I agree.
The Haven Middle School dress code only bans leggings when worn under short shorts or short skirts. Basically, short shorts and skirts are not allowed, including when they are worn with leggings underneath. The dress code does mention “school administrators may restrict the wearing of clothes or adornments that may be distracting to the educational process and environment,” and this is what some adults have a problem with. One teacher from an adjoining district thinks the focus is in the wrong place, believing teachers should worry less about how girls dress and more about how boys act and respond in their presence. From The Chicago Tribune:
“It brings up the issue, why is this a policy at all?
There are appropriate ways to behave and act, including in school, and it’s not about telling the girls what not to wear because the boys will get too excited,” said Kevin Bond, a high school teacher in another district. “That’s an easy way out.”
Agreed. Why are we teaching girls and boys from a young age that the clothes you wear are responsible for the ways people react to you? We should be teaching young girls to be comfortable with their changing bodies – not ashamed to wear clothes that aren’t inappropriate. Something tells me that a rail-thin girl in leggings would not get the same reaction as one with big hips or a big butt. Is that fair? And is it okay to basically send the message that girls need to cover themselves, not that boys need to learn to act with respect?
Maybe the school could get around all of this by telling students they need to wear longer shirts with leggings? It just all seems so arbitrary right now. A spokesman for the school district said, “We certainly don’t want any students feeling they are being picked on or called out.” So make the rules clear, and stop doing just that.