Parents in the suburbs of Chicago were beyond upset after their daughters were shamed for their clothing at a high school after administrators said their outfits went against dress code.
A student at Glenbard East High School said how she never had issues with her shoulders being exposed before. But earlier this month, she shared how over a dozen girls, herself included, were told they were violating the school’s dress code policy.
Of the girls, one was told to put on a bright orange T-shirt to cover up. Other girls who were “dress coded” were wearing tank tops.
“I was told I should cover up because boys were looking at me,” Lynch said.
According to the school’s dress code: “clothing considered to be revealing and does not adequately cover the front, back, side shoulders or midriff is prohibited on males and females.”
Parents shared that when it came to girls’ shoulders showing, it has never been enforced before. One parent shared how she felt like the situation had been handled poorly. Lynch also shared how she felt discriminated for her gender.
“It was clear there were boys wearing muscle Ts where it was not just their shoulders being shown,” she said.
One mom shared a photo to WGN of the school’s dance team uniforms which were sanctioned and handed out by the school. Both uniforms, when worn, would reveal the student’s arms and shoulders.
The entire situation has not just confused parents but also students.
“I feel bad for the girls and it’s a sexist policy that women can’t wear what they want. I wasn’t dress coded and I’ve been like this all day,” shared a student who was wearing a tank top at school, Reed Brooks. “Just the idea that men are all pigs looking at women is such a sexist message we really shouldn’t be perpetuating.”
Male students in protest then dawned tank tops with stickers on their shoulders that read, “distracting?”
The school district then decided to issue the following statement:
“We have been made aware of the social media posts about Glenbard East and the dress code. Unfortunately, the information relayed was not entirely accurate. The post has since been suspended. We continue to work tirelessly to educate all students while maintaining a safe and productive learning environment. In the future, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us to ask questions, verify facts and discuss your concerns. We value communication and collaboration with all our students and families.”
A parent, Deanna Breen, said the entire situation was handled inappropriately.
“It made students feel uncomfortable. It made them feel sexualized and I think that was wrong,” she said.
The school district sited less than 10 girls were asked to wear the orange T-shirts. But according to Lynch, at the end of the day when she went to the dean’s office to retrieve her clothing and ID, the dean had a thick stack of student ID cards. In addition, she said there were about 20 other female students in line for their belongings.