A Roanoke, Va. school district approved a gender-neutral dress code called “progressive.” (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Students have been complaining louder over the last couple of years about school dress codes that focus specifically on females.
This school board knew what it was doing when it included students in the process of rewriting the district dress code.
Students at Roanoke County Public Schools in Virginia will begin the new school year under a “gender neutral” dress code that doesn’t risk female body-shaming of which other districts have been accused.
The Roanoke County School Board last week unanimously approved a new dress code with 59% of parents approving the change, according to The Roanoke Times.
“The old dress codes we had and that many schools have today, single out girls for bra straps and undergarments and many things girls wear,” School Board Chairman Don Butzer told Today Style.
He called the new policy “progressive,” and added, “Our goal was to make it as simple as possible.”
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Drafting the new version of the dress code were students, teachers, school administrators and parents. The new dress code was whittled from five pages to one and includes an illustration of approved clothing measurements across the body.
Butzer said it was a mom whose daughter was “dress-coded” for wearing athletic shorts deemed too short who proposed changing the dress code. The mother pitched a gender-neutral dress code model from Portland, Ore. as a model.
Among the dress code requirements:
- Tops must have shoulder straps
- Clothing cover areas from one armpit across to the other armpit, down to approximately 3 to 4 inches in length to the upper thighs.
- See-through or mesh garments must not be worn without appropriate coverage underneath that meet the minimum requirements of the dress code.
- Shoes must be worn. No slippers.
- Clothing may not depict, imply advertise, or advocate illegal or lewd conduct, weapons or the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other controlled substances.
- Clothing may not depict or imply pornography, nudity, or sexual acts.
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