(NationalUSNews.com) — Dress codes in schools have long been a contentious subject. On September 20, when the Higley Unified School District in Gilbert, Arizona, was voting on this issue, many parents attended the meeting to challenge the new proposed dress code. Ira Latham has four children in the Higley Unified School District and decided to challenge the board by stripping down to a revealing outfit that would still fall within the guidelines. His spaghetti-strapped black crop top and tight cut-off shorts caused laughter among the other parents in attendance.
Latham pointed out that his surprising outfit would be acceptable in the classroom as per the updated dress code being proposed and added that, in his opinion, his clothing was “inappropriate for a board meeting.” In an interview after the meeting, he said that there was little difference between the new dress code for the district and the dress codes at a public pool. He mentioned respectful and non-distracting atmospheres in the classrooms as well as preparing students for eventually entering the workforce as good reasons to have more restrictive rules around clothing choices at school.
Other parents also had objections, although they were less shocking in their form of protest. One parent suggested that the schools need a more dignified and clearly established dress code. Another parent said that she does favor free expression for her child in clothing choices, but she was concerned that the dress code would prove to be distracting and would not encourage girls to have dignity and self-respect.
Ultimately, the board passed the new rules 3-2. The new revised code does away with certain clothing restrictions, such as spaghetti straps and crop tops. It clarifies that all private parts must be covered and that those coverings cannot be transparent. It allows for visible undergarments “incidentally,” but not undergarments worn instead of regular clothing. Board member Amanda Wade argued that while, for students, being at school is “the most job that they have”, they are not actually at a job, and they need to be allowed freedom.
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