Here’s how these Montana students are protesting their high school dress code
After being punished for not meeting their school’s dress code requirements, two Montana high school students spoke out on social media, prompting a protest that had 15 students sent home from school before lunch.
Belgrade High School freshman Josie Espinoza and her friend Layne were both called out for breaking dress code last Friday.
Josie posted the following on Instagram:
"Today I was dress coded in front of everyone for my shorts not meeting requirements. I was publicly embarrassed by my teacher in front of the whole class. Then had to be sent home to change because I was a ‘distraction.’
Josie wore a black romper and Layne wore a pair of shorts paired with a T-shirt and jacket — both of which are normal outfits for teens to wear in 80-degree weather.
The night before the protest, Josie sent out a message on Snapchat encouraging female students to take a stand.
"We're dress-coded because the boys are supposed to get their education and not be distracted but we're being distracted by being pulled out of school and not getting our education because our shorts don't make dress code requirements," Josie explained to KBZK.
Layne pointed out that she’d worn the outfit in front of her grandmother before and received compliments.
The school responded to the protest, telling KBZK that, while they do acknowledge girls are dress-coded more than boys, they do not tell girls they are distracting to boys and expect all students to abide by dress code rules.
“It’s a sexist dress code and it needs to be changed — or it needs to be equally enforced. It bothers me because I feel like dress codes are put in place mainly to set boundaries for the female students in that school and their motto is ‘dress for success,’” Josie told Yahoo! Style. “If you’re going to make us dress like professionals, you should treat us like professionals. It’s not professional for them to stand us up in class and point out why we’re violating dress code.”
We hope, in time, dress codes will change so girls can focus on learning while wearing clothes that are comfortable and weather-appropriate.