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Review dress code policies

This petition had 1,744 supporters

This petition is in regards to dress code within Ann Arbor Public High Schools and Middle Schools. As students who must follow these codes we are speaking out against their discrimination and shaming against girls for what they wear to school. The majority of AAPS dress codes are set with goals to prevent the distraction and disturbance of students, unfortunately I along with many other students find these policies both ineffective and extremely offensive.

Dress codes are enforced starting in middle school and feature several rules aimed specifically at girls. Slauson middle school’s dress code bans tank tops with straps less than two inches thick, anything with visible cleavage or exposing the mid drift and shorts and skirts less than 3 inches below their butt. The only rule applying directly to boys is allowing them to sag their pants as long as there are no exposed undergarments. It goes on to say: “‘Ugly’ t-shirts will be made available to students who come dressed inappropriately.” This is a blatant attempt at humiliating students for their dress.

No student, especially an 11 or 12 year old girl, should be publicly shamed by their school administrators for dressing in a way that they deem potentially “distracting”. In my personal experience these policies fall directly on the girls. 7th grade girls have been sent home because their shirt is “too distracting for the boys.” Last year teachers at Slauson used rulers to measure their female students shorts. Some students also had to bend over for their teachers so they could decide if their shorts were “the appropriate length.”

These codes only become more aggressive and unreasonable in high schools. The dress code at Skyline High School reads:

“Students must dress in a manner that does not interfere or adversely affect the learning environment. The use of ‘good taste’ when selecting school dress is expected.”

Girls who attend pioneer who are found to be breaking the dress code have been made to sit in the general office for hours, missing class, if they don’t have a change of clothes or a ride home. This is in no way preventing the distraction or disturbance of students, it’s in fact doing the exact opposite while demeaning, blaming, and humiliating the victim (girls in most cases). Not only are these codes blaming girls for those who are “distracted” by their choice of clothing, but they’re also directly promoting rape culture in that they’re telling females to cover up in order to prevent the actions of others. Instead of reprimanding girls for not having “good taste” in clothing, schools should teach boys how to control their reactions.

Community High School enforces no dress code while maintaining ACT and SAT scores 4.7 and 35 points higher than the district average.

It is offensive and unacceptable to tell young girls that by choosing to dress in a way that a teacher considers inappropriate they are to blame for the misbehavior of boys. The enforcement of these discriminatory policies teach students that if a girl dresses in a certain way she is responsible for how a boy reacts to it. We request AAPS Administration review these policies and consider how they contribute to victim blaming and rape culture.

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