Dress Code Debate at Rockville High School

Student says she was told her outfit was inappropriate because she was wearing leggings with a shirt that was shorter than finger-tip length

By NBC Washington
|  Thursday, Apr 4, 2013  |  Updated 12:36 PM EDT
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A student says she was told her outfit was inappropriate because she was wearing leggings with a shirt that was shorter than finger-tip length.

A student says she was told her outfit was inappropriate because she was wearing leggings with a shirt that was shorter than finger-tip length.

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A dress code rule has teachers and students in Montgomery County talking Thursday morning after a student at Rockville High School says her principal told her that her outfit was inappropriate.

Laura Woche wore black leggings and a peach-colored sweater to school Wednesday, but was informed her outfit was inappropriate because she was wearing leggings with a shirt that was shorter than fingertip length.

“Girls should not be dressing provocatively in school because it, quote, distracts the boys, but that is not the case; this is not distracting,” her mother said. “This [outfit] is not inappropriate.”

Woche's mom says the school gave Laura two choices: wear an oversized sweater or have her mom take her home.

Despite what Woche was told, the "fingertips length" rule isn't listed in Rockville High School's dress code, which is actually more restrictive than that.

The dress code reads in part, "Students should dress appropriately for a school setting and business environment. The staff wishes to promote a climate in which all students feel comfortable..." It goes on to say that "leggings or stockings worn as pants" are unacceptable, but does not mention the rule Woche said she was told about Wednesday.

“She’s 5’11”, so she’s so tall that she would have to have a skirt almost down to her knees...” her mother said.

On NBC Washington’s Facebook page, most commenters said they failed to see what was inappropriate about Woche’s outfit.

“That is standard garb in the school I teach in,” wrote Chris Bird. “If you're gonna single her out, I'll bet you there were dozens of more girls wearing identical outfits that day.”

Lisa Schepp Clarke wrote, “She looks beautiful and tasteful... more girls should dress this way.”

Not everyone’s a fan of the leggings look, though. “Hey ladies....Leggings are hideous... and should not be worn as pants,” wrote Cynthia Lambertini. “Not a good look for anyone.”

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