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High school boys rock dresses to protest dress code

Joseph McCormick February 4, 2016
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Boys at a high school in California have taken to wearing dresses to school to protest discriminatory dress code rules.

The boys at the Buchanan High School in California took to wearing dresses to school after the District voted to uphold the dress code rules.

And girls wore shirts and trousers in order to protest the decision which means boys are forbidden from growing long hair.

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got in touch, questioning the legality of the dress code as it is.

“We were shocked that they decided not to comply with the law. At this point, we haven’t ruled out any potential strategies including a lawsuit, and we are currently evaluating our next steps,” said ACLU Attorney, Abré Conner.

The main reason the protest took place was against the dress code which forbids boys at the school from growing their hair long.

So students swapped gendered clothing to prove a point.

William Pleasant, a student at the school, wrote an open letter saying: “I want to know why girls can have short or long hair but men are forced to have short hair.”

He was denied enrolment at the school because he had long hair.

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As well as a social media campaign, a petition to the school gained over 3,100 signatures calling for the school to overturn its policy.

Speaking to the Fresno Bee, Emma Sledd said: “The reason we switched gender norms for the day was to make the statement that what we wear does not define us as students.”

However, the District spokeswoman Kelly Avants, told BuzzFeed News that she respects the students’ right to protest.

“We are dedicated to raising students to be good citizens. Part of being a good citizen is the ability to express yourself when you’re not happy with a decision and we respect that,” she said.

However, she went on to say that individual students struggling to express their gender identity through their clothing would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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“If a student has come to the administration, we’ll work with them to make sure that they have an environment on campus that allows them to express themselves with the gender in which they identify,” she said.

As of Monday, no boys had been disciplined for wearing the dresses, but two girls were told off for wearing shirts reading “dress code sucks”.

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One student, Sophia Brodish, told BuzzFeed News that the aim of the protest for some was to ensure that eventually the school has a gender-neutral dress code.

Related topics: dress, dress code, dresses, gender, US

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