A Texas boy was suspended for wearing makeup because of a sexist school dress code

Pearland, Texas’ Alvin Independent School District (ISD) is reevaluating its dress code after a male Shadow Creek High School student received an in-school suspension for wearing makeup in class earlier this week. The student’s identity has not been revealed, but friends and supporters have rallied around him to ensure Alvin ISD makes strides to become more inclusive.

Currently, the Alvin ISD dress code, which was “established to teach grooming and hygiene…[to] promote responsibility and self-esteem” within the student body, blatantly states, “Boys may not wear make-up.” Furthermore, boys are not allowed to wear earrings and must keep their hair at a length above their shoulders.

When the student at the center of this issue was asked to remove his makeup during the school day, he refused.

The male student’s friend and fellow classmate, Jasmine Richards, started a Change.org petition directed at Alvin ISD. She’s gathering support to change the district’s “gender biased policies,” which she argues are “based entirely on outdated and sexist gender standards.” Richards is aiming to make her school district a safe place for all students to freely express themselves.

"These policies harm young boys by telling them that they are not allowed to participate in the same forms of self expression that girls are, simply because they are boys," Richards wrote in her Change.org petition, which has already garnered over 1,700 signatures. "This has to change. We are asking for Alvin ISD to review and modify their dress code so that it is free of gender discrimination."

Assistant superintendent of Alvin schools, Daniel Combs, told local station KHOU11, “The dress code is not set in stone. [It] is reviewed every couple of years at the most.”

After meeting with Richards and the male student, Combs plans to get parent and student input on the matter before moving forward with any revisions. Meanwhile, the student at the center of the controversy plans to attend school barefaced to avoid further issues.

Let’s hope the school district votes in favor of gender-inclusive policies. Because it’s 2018, and this should really be a non-issue.

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