Reevaluate the Yonkers Public Schools Dress Code

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A Petition to Yonkers Public Schools to Change their stand on the dress code and re-evaluate the reasons for girls not being allowed to wear comfortable summer clothing.

I am a high school sophomore in Yonkers Public Schools, where 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. 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 dress codes that are enforced feature several rules aimed specifically at girls. Yonkers Public Schools’ dress code bans tank tops with straps less than two inches thick, anything with visible cleavage or exposing the midriff and bottoms that fall above mid-thigh. Each of these rules are clearly aimed at fashion trends among women, placing a stigma on the female body. The only rule applying directly to boys is allowing them to sag their pants as long as there are no exposed undergarments.
All our lives, our parents have taught us, their daughters, to be confident and have self respect… yet we are being punished for wearing shorts because it makes men and boys uncomfortable. What is this telling young girls? That it's ok for them to be treated as objects. That they are the ones who are wrong for wearing shorts. That they are the problem.

When you interrupt a girl’s school day to force her to change her clothes or send her home because her shorts are “too short” or her bra straps are visible, you are telling her that making sure boys have a “distraction free” learning environment is more important than her education. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects. Now I’m not trying to say the boys are the problem here. Most of the time, boys wouldn’t spare a girl a second glance if she had her shoulders exposed. Despite this, the district seems to be convinced that girls need to be “protected” from these boys (which is also quite offensive). Yonkers Public Schools prides itself in being a diverse and accepting community, but this message is not prevalent in the sexist dress codes that encourages the objectification of teenage girl’s bodies. We love our schools but we need to see a change, because how can we progress and flourish as a community if we shame the people in it?

Thank you,
The Students of Yonkers



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