Change the Irvington Middle School dress code to reflect the values of our community.

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Today my 13 year old sister, an eighth grader at Irvington Middle School, wore a sweater to school. A teacher reported her to the assistant principal for an exposed midriff and her bra strap showing. She was devastated about being called out, and missed an entire period of science (where a lab was taking place) to speak with the assistant principal about her “inappropriate dress,” and she was told she needed to cover up. Another teacher asked why she was so upset, to which a friend of hers said “because she got dress-coded.” He replied “she deserved to be.”

The only lesson she learned today is that she needs to cover up her body, otherwise she will be pulled from class and humiliated. The objectification of our students in the middle school is absolutely horrifying. What are we trying to teach our young students at their most vulnerable time? We NEED to do better than this.

The wording in the Code of Conduct is as follows:

“Recognize that extremely brief garments such as plunging necklines (front and/or back), micro-minis, short shorts, bare midriffs, and see-through or otherwise revealing garments are not appropriate.“

I am not sure how my sister’s sweater classifies as an “extremely brief garment,” but clearly a change must be made to prevent any further objectification of IMS students. I am proposing that the "bare midriff" part of the dress code be removed, as nobody's belly button is inappropriate.

Under community information on the Irvington schools website, it is says that “A school district is at its best when schools, parents, and the community work together to promote the health, well being, and learning of all students.”

While she was technically breaking a rule, it is a rule that can and should be changed, as it is time for us to stop telling young women they need to cover up their bodies. I hope that members of our community will sign this petition to change the middle school’s dress code in order to promote the well being and learning of every single student.