A teenager has made a statement about the “sexism” of school dress codes with a TikTok in which he and a female friend wore similar outfits to see which of them would get in trouble for violating the rules.
In a video uploaded last week, Drew Jarding, a high school student from Illinois, who goes by the username @drooscroo on TikTok, explained that he and fellow student Kenzie Crimmins would both be wearing outfits that violated their school’s dress code.
For the experiment, Jarding wore a pair of athletic shorts, which he paired with a T-shirt that was cut into a crop top and left most of his stomach bare, while Crimmins wore a pair of leggings and a T-shirt that was cropped slightly less than Jarding’s.
“Dressing the same to show how dress codes are sexist,” the teenager captioned the video.
In the clip, the friends then filmed themselves throughout the day, at one point dancing “in front of five teachers”. The TikTok concluded with Jarding revealing that Crimmins was disciplined by school staff for violating the dress code while he was not.
According to Jarding, who spoke to BuzzFeed, their school’s dress code prohibits crop tops, ripped jeans, and spaghetti straps or straps that expose too much shoulder, while the hem of shorts, skirts and dresses must reach below the knee.
He also explained he came up with the idea to dress similarly to a female student, with both violating dress code, to “show how biased [dress codes] really are”, after he’d made previous TikToks showing him breaking the rules without being disciplined.
“I had known that dress codes had been unfair for a while, I just didn’t know to this extent,” he said. “I was wearing multiple outfits that were going against the code or whatever and they hadn’t said a single thing to me all that week.”
Speaking to BuzzFeed about the incident, Crimmins said she was “written up” for “showing her stomach,” with the teenager recalling how a teacher had told her her “shirt is really revealing” before offering her the option of going “to the resource room to change”.
The video, which has since been viewed more than 6.4m times on TikTok, has prompted disgust among viewers, with many applauding the teenagers for their efforts to expose the school’s double standards.
“And y’all say double standards aren’t a thing,” one person commented, while another viewer said: “This says EVERYTHING.”
Someone else added: “Hers was a tiny sliver and yours was your whole torso. This says it all.”
Following the viral video, Jarding has continued to create TikToks testing his school’s dress code, with another clip seeing him wearing a pair of white denim shorts and an orange denim button-down shirt with just one button fastened.
“Day three of wearing clothes that would get me dress-coded if I were a girl,” he captioned a recent video, which sees him posing in the outfit in front of his class, in his school lunchroom and while walking down the hallways.
He concluded the clip confirming that “no one said anything”.
Jarding’s videos come after high school students in California recently went viral on the platform after they filmed themselves protesting their school’s “sexist” dress code by staging a walkout.
In one accompanying video, teenager Evita Frick-Hisaw claimed the school’s dress code “is sexist towards women and perpetuates rape culture,” adding that it “makes us very uncomfortable”.
“We as students feel like what we wear is not distracting towards others or affecting anyone’s learning environment,” she said. “We should not be kicked out of school for wearing a crop top.”
The Independent has contacted Jarding for comment.
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