Schools continue to stir controversy when it comes to dress codes — a situation that’s heating up with the onset of summer, as it gets more difficult for administrators to keep students both cool and dressed in a way that’s deemed appropriate.
Enter Samantha Sollitto, a 16-year-old New Yorker who got dressed for school one hot morning, not thinking twice about wearing a tank top and a pair of jean shorts that were within her high school’s dress-code guidelines. But when she arrived at Susan E. Wagner High School, located in the city’s borough of Staten Island, she says, she was unwelcome.
“I was stopped by an aide who asked me if I had another shirt with me,” Samantha tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “When I responded no, she gave me a plain navy T-shirt. I asked her why I had been dress-coded, to which she replied, ‘We’re just asking girls to cover their arms.’”
Taking to Twitter to share her side of the incident, Samantha posted a pair of photos, one of her outfit and another showing the school’s current dress code, which notes that students must avoid halter tops, tube tops, and tank tops that expose the chest area, as well as tight ribbed underwear tank tops. Samantha points out that the rules do not apply to a regular ol’ tank top, like the one she was wearing.
“My outfit did not stand out or seem less covering,” she says, comparing her own look to others at school. “Seeing as it was around 80 degrees and our school does not have air conditioning, most students were wearing shorts and tank tops.”
A representative of the Susan E. Wagner High School declined to comment about the situation when reached by Yahoo Lifestyle.
Samantha says that only a random selection of students were faced with scrutiny from the school about their similar outfits, but that what was even more controversial was the explanation by the school aide, which made it seem like a girls-only issue.
“I’ve received many replies to my post that believe the dress code is an unnecessary way of body-shaming students who are just wearing what they feel is comfortable,” Samantha says. “I understand that we have a dress code to keep our school an appropriate learning environment, but when only certain students are reprimanded, I believe the policy becomes unfair, and something should be done about it.”
Samantha says that she has since reached out to her school’s principal about the situation but has yet to receive a response from him.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• School district approves dress code ban against ripped jeans and torn and tattered clothing
• Female student suspended after protesting dress code crackdown on bra straps
• This high school is handing out ‘modesty ponchos’ to cover up prom dresses deemed inappropriate