School Dress Code Unfairly Targets Girls, Fairfax Official Says

A school board member in northern Virginia is calling for changes to the district's dress code to remove language that specifically targets girls.

Fairfax County Public Schools board member at-large Ryan McElveen is expected to introduce an amendment to the dress code on Thursday.

"School dress codes around the country have unfairly targeted girls for generations, and it’s long past time for a change," McElveen wrote on Twitter. Such a change would "help end the body shaming," he wrote.

The current dress code calls for "tasteful and appropriate clothing" that does not expose "cleavage, private parts, the midriff or undergarments," is not see-through and is not "sexually provocative."

McElveen is expected to suggest gender-neutral language that bans clothing that reveals "private areas" or "an excessive amount of bare skin." Also, he said he will suggest the school board add this line: "Discussion about dress code violations shall be held privately and maintain the dignity of the student."

McElveen did not respond to inquiries on Wednesday.

Near McLean High School, some parents and students said they thought the school district's dress code was unfairly strict for girls. Others said they thought the language change would not make a difference for students.

How schools handle their dress codes has made national headlines in recent years. Earlier this year in Florida, a high school student was sent to the principal's office and then the nurse's office because she wasn't wearing a bra. The 17-year-old said she felt humiliated when she was made to put on another shirt and put bandages over her nipples, leaving her in tears.

Her school's dress code did not specifically address or require bras.

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