‘My body is not a distraction’: Thirty pupils suspended for protesting school rules forcing girls to cover up

Students carried signs with messages including ‘I go to a school where the length of my shirt and shorts is more important than my education’

Independent Staff
Friday 24 September 2021 22:48
Teens dress the same to show 'how dress codes are sexist' in viral TikTok

Thirty high school pupils in Oklahoma have been suspended after protesting against “sexist” dress codes that forced them to cover their midriffs and shoulders.

The protest saw students at Mustang High School carrying signs with messages including “Dress codes are sexist”, “My body is not a distraction”, “Stop sexualising our bodies” and “I go to a school where the length of my shirt and shorts is more important than my education”.

Though the school district’s dress code does not specifically mention gender, many of its provisions focus specifically on clothes more often worn by girls.

As well as banning spiked jewellery, “gang dress” or visible underwear, the code forbids “cleavage”, bare midriffs, tube tops, spaghetti straps, “biker or spandex shorts”, leggings that are not covered by another garment, and makeup that “disrupts the learning environment”.

It adds: “Interpretation of questionable attire will be at the principal’s discretion. Violations may result in disciplinary action.”

Kirk Wilson, director of communications for Mustang Public Schools, said: “There was a small protest before school at Mustang High School on Friday, September 10, 2021. When class began, the protest ended and most of the students attended class as normal.

“There were a handful of students who violated the student code of conduct after class began and those situations were addressed ... we remain committed to supporting our students and providing a safe and nurturing learning environment.”

He declined to discuss their specific punishments, citing federal school privacy law.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments