Parents at a Chicago-area middle school are speaking out against a purported ban on leggings and tight yoga pants arguing the dress code policy unfairly punishes girls.
The Evanston, Ill. school's dress code, which is posted online, states that shorts, dresses and skirts "must extend closer to the knee than the hip, short shorts or skirts and leggings are unacceptable attire. Pants and shorts must be worn at the waist."
After several female students complained they were told they weren't allowed to wear leggings and tight yoga pants to school, Haven Middle School parents Juliet and Kevin Bond sent a letter on March 11 to the school's principal, Kathy Roberson, arguing the policy is inconsistently enforced and “contribute[s] to rape culture."
"We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids," the Bonds, both educators themselves wrote in the letter which was also posted to social media.
"This policy clearly shifts the blame for boy's behavior or lack of academic concentration, directly onto the girls," the letter read.
Roberson responded to the controversy in a letter sent to parents Tuesday. Roberson claims that leggings have not been banned at the school, even as some parents said their girls were told they couldn't wear either leggings or tight yoga pants, the Chicago Tribune reports.
A Haven Middle School advisory team will meet next Tuesday to review the dress code, according to Roberson’s letter.
As leggings continue to dominate casual fashion trends for both women and even some men, schools around the country are determining if the look is "in" or "out" when it comes to dress codes.
Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, Calif., attracted headlines last year when it banned female students from wearing leggings, tight yoga pants and tight jeans saying they were distracting to boys. A Boston-area high school recently enacted a similar policy -- for similar reasons.
Parents like the Bonds and others have blasted the argument, with Kenilworth parent Lisa Simond telling local news station KTVU, “It is not our girls’ fault that these boys have quote ‘raging hormones’ they can’t control.”
”Boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they’re wearing, and that’s a big deal,” Jerelyn Kruljac, another Kenilworth parent, told the station.
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