Parents, Students Protest School Fashion Police

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Fashion, Teen Culture

kids in stripes

School district's dress code prohibits -- stripes? Credit: Getty Images

Plaids are out this fall at Richmond High School in Indiana.

All the way out.

If you are caught wearing plaids (or stripes or floral prints or anything with a logo on it), you risk getting suspended.

That's the new dress code.

At least 169 students have already been suspended for crimes against fashion, according to the local newspaper, the Palladium-Item. That has some people in this Indiana town of 40,000 off Interstate 70 near the Ohio border seeing a vibrant shade of fuchsia.

About 150 parents and students protested outside the school last Thursday, two days after school began for this year, claiming that the revised dress code passed by the Richmond School Board in May goes too far and is enforced too harshly. Most of the suspensions came about on Wednesday and Thursday.

"The dress code doesn't say anything about students in violation if you can see their collarbone, but students are getting suspended because of it," parent Brian Thompson told the Palladium-Item.

The dress code is on the school board agenda tonight. "I am looking forward to the public debate," board member David Stidham told the newspaper. "I think the more we have the better.

Despite the suspensions and protest on Thursday, school Superintendent Allen Bourff told the newspaper the school day proceeded normally, with most students in their classrooms.

Student Tomi McNew was one of those suspended because he came to school wearing shorts bearing a logo. Another student, Karlee Cochran, was suspended for wearing a low-cut, solid-colored white T-shirt. That was fine. But the tank top underneath didn't pass muster.

"It was kind of exciting," she told the Palladium-Item about the protest that lasted four hours. "Nothing ever happens in this town, and this was big excitement."

An online petition has gathered more than 1,300 signatures protesting the dress code. The same site includes a petition for school uniforms. It has gained fewer than a 100 signatures.

What do you think of school dress codes?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.