Middle School Bans Girls' Leggings, and Parents Are Not Happy About It
byKaitlin StanfordMar 25, 2014
It seems like yesterday when we were walking the school halls rocking our floral leggings and Doc Martens ... and now, as all ridiculous fashions do, it appears they are making a comeback.
But as one Evanston, Ill., school has reminded us, times have sure changed. While leggings were once a harmless fashion trend back in the '90s, their body-hugging designs are apparently a little too provocative by 2014 standards.
According to Evanston's Haven Middle School handbook, leggings and tight pants are a major no-no. Specifically, the rules state that dresses and skirts "must extend closer to the knee than the hip; short shorts or skirts and leggings are unacceptable attire. Pants and shorts must be worn at the waist."
After several students complained to their parents about the ban, Haven Middle School parents Juliet and Kevin Bond were prompted to write a letter of their own to the school's principal, Kathy Roberson. The missive argued that not only was the policy "enforced inconsistently," but more importantly, it also "contribute[s] to rape culture."
"We are frankly shocked at this antiquated and warped message that is being sent to the kids," the letter continued. "This policy clearly shifts the blame for boys' behavior or lack of academic concentration, directly onto the girls."
As the Chicago Tribune reported last week, Roberson responded soon after, hoping to clarify that while the school does not ban leggings, despite what the handbook says, it does ban them being worn without long-enough shirts to ... well, cover the girls' behinds. But while this answer has satisfied some, other parents like the Bonds argue that the real reason behind the ban has nothing to do with the appropriateness of the leggings—and everything to do with male behavior.
"There are appropriate ways to behave and act, including in school, and it's not about telling the girls what not to wear because the boys will get too excited," says Kevin Bond, a high school teacher in another district. "That's an easy way out."
The school advisory board aims to meet this week to clarify the policy, as well as look for ways to make the girls feel "less picked-on" or "called out" by its enforcement.