High School’s Sexist Dress Code Sends 200 Kids To Detention For Wearing Tank Tops
A Staten Island high school’s strict dress code sent 200 teens to detention during the first two weeks of school, and most – of course – were girls. Tottenville High School recently changed their fashion rules to prohibit “tank tops, low-cut shirts, and shorts that don’t reach fingertip length,” reports Think Progress. Also fair game in their Dress for Success policy: “miniskirts, leggings, skinny jeans, headbands, halter tops, sweats, hats, hoodies [and] sunglasses.”
Making things worse is the lack of air conditioning in many classrooms, and kids who came to school dressed to survive sitting around in 85 degree weather were promptly shuttled off to the auditorium, while their parents were summoned to bring “appropriate” clothing. If their parents weren’t available – because many of them presumably are busy working, running errands and having lives – their kids were sent to class in gym clothes.
The students are furious – and rightly so. “Nothing was showing,” said senior Jessica Sullivan, who was stopped in the hall and told to cover up her halter top with her sweater. “It was really humiliating to be pulled aside like an object.”
“Personally, I think it’s biased against girls,” said student Michael Wiggberg Jr. to SILive, and he’s totally right. More often than not school dress codes focus on policing the fashion of their female students, shaming them for their bodies and the attention they may get from peers and teachers. In a statement, the high school said:
“Students have the right to determine their own dress except where such dress creates a distraction, is dangerous, or interferes with the learning and teaching process.”
According to the NY Post, 90 percent of the kids sent to detention were girls, so it seems pretty clear what the school deems a distraction. Luckily the students are more enlightened than the administration, and have been voicing their outrage on twitter and protesting at school by continuing to wear what they want, headbands and all.