Change Cumberland Polytechnic High School Graduation Dress Code c/o 2019 and after

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Graduating seniors and future seniors of Cumberland Polytechnic High School are faced with a biased and outdated dress code for their commencement ceremony. Female students, in particular, face what most would call a sexist dress code. Requiring females students only to wear a black dress, black sheer stockings, and black heels that all conform to the CPHS daily dress code. No shoulders, cleavage or more than one inch above the knee may be visible. Further, no sheer, lace, open shoulders, thin straps or otherwise revealing or see-through material may cover skin in any of these areas. The administration also notes, "Any other attire deemed inappropriate by the administration."

In investigating this issue, we found reports from as far back as 2006 where female students in Cumberland County have been speaking out against the practices we are still seeing today. The administration cited timing as the reason for not changing the dress code for the female students. With that information in hand, we would like all students who would like to have the right to choose if they wear pants or a dress please make your voice known by signing this petition months in advance of our commencement ceremony.

As a young woman in 2019, the students expect freedom of dress and choice for their body, but instead, their bodies are over-sexualized and objectified. It is time for Cumberland Polytechnic High School to step into this century and remove these patriarchal standards for their students. 

Further, by discerning what only females and only males are permitted to wear for the 2019 commencement ceremony, and any event thereafter, this dress code and administration are in violation of Title IX as it specifically targets a person on the basis of sex, gender identity, and is cited by the ACLU