It all began on the first day of school. It was a hot day in Hollister, California, and like schools all around the country, high school students dressed for the weather, trying to stay comfortable enough to concentrate on the new year. Unfortunately, the school had other ideas.
By the end of the first day, over 20 girls were sent home for wearing off-the-shoulder tops. Students, especially seniors, were surprised at the move. While the school had the rule written in the dress code, it had never been enforced before, so students didn’t think twice about wearing something comfortable to class. But when girls started getting sent home, other students noticed. The previous year and many years before, senior students posed for the school pictures in off-the-shoulder tops issued by the school. It seemed completely random, and while faculty claimed that the move was to “keep kids safe,” no one was buying it. Male students were especially annoyed that the school would send female students home without a warning. Saying that student’s safety is a concern based on what they wear is just not right, they say. If a student is attacked, the school should be focused on the attacker – not the victim.
Let girls learn,” they repeated when asked about their protest.
They started showing up in off-the-shoulder tops to get the attention of the principal…and it worked!
The school admitted that using excuses that “a student’s clothing is too distracting for others” and has planned to sit down with students, parents, and faculty to further define what the dress code should represent instead of enforcing rules without much reason.
They want to set expectations within the dress code “that begin to prepare students to seek and maintain employment.” What that means in society’s current culture will be up for discussion, and many students are glad to be able to have the discussion.