Leggings, or very thick tights, are being banned in a growing number of schools. Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Nova Scotia, Canada have all forbidden students to wear the form-fitting pants.
Kenilworth Junior High School just amended its dress code to prohibit leggings in the classroom, citing the distraction caused to the school’s boys. In a school assembly for female students, administrators said that no tight pants, including yoga pants, leggings, and tight jeans would be allowed. They have since changed the code to ban only leggings, unless worn with shorts or paired with a skirt or dress. “Leggings have become popular among girls, and many are sheer,” said principal Emily Dunnagan to ABC. “When girls bend in leggings the threads spread and that’s really when it becomes a problem.”
Students weren’t the only ones upset by the new rule. Many parents were concerned about the message sent by the ban – young women are responsible to prevent the “distraction” of young men. “It is not our girls’ fault that these boys have quote ‘raging hormones’ they can’t control,” said parent Lisa Simond to news station KTVU. “Boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they’re wearing, and that’s a big deal,” added parent Jerelyn Kruljac.
“The concern is we don’t want undergarments showing,” replied principal Dunnagan. “Students need to wear clothing that’s appropriate for the school environment.” However, if the leggings aren’t sheer, no undergarments are showing. Skirts, dresses, and shirts can be sheer, too. Yoga pants, which are approved, are sheerer than leggings. There are simply too many holes in this rule to enforce it fairly.
I confess I have mixed opinions on this, and I am a very opinionated lady. I am the mother of two daughters. Both turn male heads without trying. Both wear leggings with shirts over them and look cute in them. I don’t see a huge difference between leggings and tight pants, as long as the girl’s top covers her rear.
I’ve been a teacher for twenty-seven years, and dress code has always been a thorn in the flesh. I think it’s almost impossible to keep boys from having sexual thoughts about girls unless the girls are in burqas. Do we really want to go there? Shouldn’t we try to teach the boys to control their thoughts? And what about the dress codes for boys? Do they think that boys look and lust, but girls don’t?