Boys at San Benito High School in Hollister, CA have started a new trend. Wearing off-the-shoulder shirts is all the rage for these high school boys, but it’s more of a political statement than a fashion statement.
They are doing it to the defend the rights of their fellow female classmates.
For some reason, this year’s school administration decided to enforce their dress code which prohibits females from wearing off-the-shoulders shirts, even though they didn’t enforce this provision in the past.
According to Yahoo, students said there were about 50 girls and two boys who were sent to the administrative office for dress code violations on the first day of school on Aug. 14.
“One thing I am finding out from the students is this summer, strapless shirts are one of the fashion trends that is more prevalent,” San Benito High School Principal Adrian Ramirez told Yahoo. “So on the first day of school, there were a significantly greater number of students wearing this.”
Though the off-the-shoulder shirts have been prohibited in the dress code for several years, students said the administration started enforcing it this year only despite the fact that girls had traditionally taken their senior year book photos with off-the-shoulder shirts.
Shoutout to Brody and Adryan for supporting our protest pic.twitter.com/abkC5pJsQU
— j (@ocean__avenue_) August 15, 2017
Students, including male students, decided to protest this by coming to school in off-the-shoulder outfits.
Many of the students called the ban on off-the-should shirts sexist and that accused the administration of sexualizing girls saying they were a distraction to their male counterparts in this clothing.
However, the administration says this just isn’t so.
“A concern expressed by students is the notion we are not allowing strapless shirts because it is a distraction to male students,” an Aug. 18 letter from Ramirez to the community states. “San Benito High School does not support, nor believes this is an appropriate reason to now allow strapless shirts. It is each student’s responsibility to carry themselves in a respectful manner, regardless of the clothing that another student is wearing.”
Ramirez claims that the provision is in the dress code to protect students from “being a victim of any incident where they could intentionally or unintentionally be humiliated.”
“Our second goal is to ensure we set expectation within our dress code that begin to prepare our students to seek and maintain employment, interview for a scholarship or pursue their career goals after school,” he wrote. “As an academic institution, it is our responsibility to the community that we set and maintain parameters around dress attire.”
Ramirez says there has been a positive outcome following the protest which allowed him to sit down with students to discuss the issue.
He agreed that this is one of the areas within the dress code that needs improvement and clearer communication and will be asking the Associated Student Body to organize a committee of students to continue a dialogue regarding the dressed code.
“We will also be providing our staff with guidelines on dress code enforcement,” he wrote. “Our goal is to provide consistency and equitable enforcement.”
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