Some parents in a Florida school district are upset that cheerleaders are being prohibited from wearing their uniforms to class, despite the fact that the uniforms are issued by the schools.
According to officials at several Pinellas County schools, the uniforms are simply too revealing for students to wear during the day, as their sleeveless tops and short skirts violate school dress codes. Cheerleaders previously wore their uniforms to class on game days as a display of school spirit, Today.com notes.
However, some parents wonder why the school would ban a uniform that officials previously approved.
"If it's an approved school uniform -- which it was approved, by the administration, years ago -- why is it out of dress code?" Christine Johnson told the Tampa Bay Times. "And why can they wear it in front of thousands of people at a football field if they can't wear it on game day at school?"
"My first thought is, it's almost un-American," parent Norma Fraser told Today.com. "It's been around forever and since it's a school issued uniform, since it was approved at that time, it should be approved for now."
The 2013–2014 Pinellas District dress code holds that skirts must be “mid-thigh length or longer” and “all shirts, tops, and dresses shall have sleeves and cover the shoulders.” While in the past the dress code was not thoroughly enforced for cheerleaders in some district schools, officials are now trying to eliminate the “double standard,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.
"A parent looks at their son or daughter getting 'dress coded' for wearing something short, then they look at the cheerleading uniform and they say, 'What about that?'" Gay Schlereth, principal of a district high school, told the outlet.
Additionally, district public information officer Melanie Marquez Parra pointed out that this issue is not unique to cheerleaders, according to local outlet WTSP-TV.
"If you have a school-issued uniform that is a swimsuit for the swim team or a wrestling uniform, you aren't allowed to wear that to class," Parra told the outlet.
Schools in the district are enforcing the dress code in different ways. At one district high school, cheerleaders now wear a school-approved spirit shirt with blue jeans on game days, Today.com reports. Cheerleaders are required to wear sleeved shirts below their uniform top in other schools, reports local outlet WTSP-TV.