Dress codes in city schools tend to target girls

Elected officials and lawyers want the city’s education department to reexamine the way dress codes are applied in public schools.

They say the codes seem unfair to girls and some transgender students.

“Most of the students who are sanctioned for dress code interactions are transgender or gender non-conforming girls or students,” said Ashley Sawyer, director of policy and government relations for girls for gender equity. sexes.

Legislation introduced this week would require the city to compile detailed information on dress codes, which vary from school to school, and how the rules are enforced.

The education ministry says schools are prohibited from having gender-specific dress codes.

But in a study of dress codes in 100 schools, the Girls for Gender Equity group found that many items of clothing that many schools prohibited are typically worn by girls.

“Schools would always say things like no halter top or no crop top,” Sawyer said.

They say these dress codes often go hand in hand with the thought that the best way to prevent sexual harassment in school is to tell girls to cover up.

“You can’t prevent sexual harassment or sexual assault in school by telling girls that they can’t wear a halter or a blouse with spaghetti straps,” Sawyer said.

The analysis also found that some schools exceeded the penalties set by the DOE for dress code violations.

“One school even had language that said if a student was not in compliance they would have to wear a dress code violation label similar to, like a scarlet letter,” Sawyer said.

The education ministry has announced that it will revise the legislation.

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