A high school student in Georgia went to school wearing Chaco shoes and “norts” — a nickname commonly associated with loose Nike running shorts, which have become one of the most popular looks of the season — and was told that she wasn’t dressed “modest enough” for class.
Like many girls who are pulled out of class for violating (or allegedly violating) their school’s dress code, the student, Abigail Davis, feels that the school’s policies unfairly target girls, interrupting their education because their outfits are deemed “distracting” to boys or teachers.
After the incident on Aug. 11, the 17-year-old student at Habersham Central High School in Mount Airy, Ga., posted her frustration on her Facebook page, writing: “Today I got told that a boy’s education is more important than my own. I got told that since I wasn’t dressing ‘modest enough’ I couldn’t enter my classroom because I was too much of a distraction. I got told that I need to ‘cover up’ so the boys can focus on their school work.”
Abigail continued: “I’m in school for one reason and one reason only and that’s to get an education. Not to impress anyone, or to show off to anyone. I’m here simply to get the credits I need to get a diploma and go on to college. These ‘inappropriate’ shorts kept me from my AP Calculus class. So thanks Habersham County for letting me know that students DON’T come first.”
Yahoo Style spoke with Abigail, who said that shorts are not banned at her school. “The dress code states, ‘Pants/shorts/skirts, etc., must be worn at a normal waist level. Skirts/shorts must be modest as to not cause a distraction or disruption to the school environment.’”
But Abigail — echoing the feelings of some female students who have been cited for dress code violations at other schools and their frustrated parents — thinks the school’s dress code is sexist. “I feel like the dress code is just another way of sexualizing women, telling them that what they wear is more important than the education they are trying to receive, and that if they don’t conform to the rules, a guy’s education is at stake,” she tells Yahoo Style.
She adds: “The dress code lets young women know that it’s their fault a guy can’t control his sexual urges unless she fixes what she is wearing. It is also teaching guys that they don’t have to be responsible for their urges; that it’s all on the girl, and if she doesn’t cover up then it’s her fault he’s distracted, not his.”
The teen says that there is too much emphasis placed on what students are wearing rather than the importance of being in class and getting a good education. “I’m not at school to worry about what I wear, but to worry about my education,” Abigail says, noting the school has not yet responded to her post. (Yahoo Style has reached out to Habersham Country School District and will update if we receive a response.) “I do not ‘dress to impress’ nor do I judge anyone who does. I think that dress codes are fatuous. We have bigger issues that need more focus than the issue of dress codes. If my school put the effort into student services as they did dress codes, the attendance rates would more than likely increase, which would give the students a better education.”
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