A North Carolina School District Considers Banning Skinny Jeans

Photo: Courtesy of American Eagle Outfitters.
Another day, another seemingly innocuous clothing item causing controversy. A school district in North Carolina is currently revising its dress code, and according to WECT, there's one particular item that has people up in arms: skinny jeans. The New Hanover County School district took to Twitter to share its proposed new dress code in late April, adding that the Board of Education was open to student feedback. A first reading of Policy 8520 took place on May 3, according to its website, that proposed that "excessively tight fitting pants" such as skinny jeans and leggings should face scrutiny. There's even a hashtag — #policy8520 — where members of the community (or the internet at large) can chime in with their thoughts. A quick sift through the submissions on social media so far reveal a common sentiment: "Really?"
The proposed change wouldn't ban skinny jeans and leggings outright, but if a student opts to wear a tighter-fit bottom, it would have to be with a top or dress that "[covers] the posterior area in its entirety." It's worth noting that while most conversation and controversy surrounding school dress codes tends to target female students, this one applies to all pupils. However, Twitter users were quick to point out the sexist undertones in this type of policy change. New Hanover County School Board vice chair Jeannette Nichols explained to WECT that the school was partly moved to amend its dress code due to alleged bullying of "bigger girls" over tight jeans. Parents and students alike aired their issues with the prospective new dress code on Twitter — some serious, some more in jest. Macey Austin, a junior at Laney High School, tweeted a picture of her skinny jeans at school with the comment: "Let me change real quick bc I AM OUT OF DRESSCODE yes showing absolutely NOTHING." She later spoke with WECT about how peers were joking about the absurdity of the policy in class. On May 17, the New Hanover County School thanked students for their feedback on the policy through social media, and assured that "responsible comments" would be shared with the board. It also added: "Remember, everything said/done electronically can potentially be tracked forever. Your future boss, college, kids can search your footprint." The conversation wasn't over for members of the community, though: Users asked for a list of the comments received and expected to be discussed to be shared publicly, and whether the school plans on hosting an open forum for students and parents to speak with the Board directly. Guess we'll have to keep our eyes on Twitter to find out.

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