School policies about dress codes and other requirements are becoming increasingly controversial as students, particularly female students, are beginning to speak out about how it feels to be targeted due to their clothing. But one private school has taken its dress code a step too far, according to a mom on Reddit.
A mom claims her son’s Christian private school asked to inspect girls’ underwear.
“The school where my son attends wants to inspect every girl’s underwear before homecoming…” the mom titled her post, which was shared to a Reddit group dedicated to venting about infuriating things in life. “My son goes to a Christian private school and I received a notice that before any girl can attend homecoming, they must have their dress and undergarments inspected,” she wrote.
The post continued with an outline of how the school would obtain the underwear. “They would need to send the dress in a bag, along with the underwear in a ziplock with the ‘child’s’ name on it, to be inspected by the school,” she wrote, all in order “to make sure that what they are going to wear wouldn’t entice the boys,” the concerned mom continued in the Reddit post.
She also offered a question, “[So] are they implying that they’re going to show off their underwear during [or] after the dance?”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time a dress code has raised concern.
In 2002, an assistant principal outraged parents when she was caught lifting up skirts at a dance.
“I’m not against thongs,” she told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But when a girl wearing a thong and a short skirt bends over … it exposes her bottom.”
That assistant principal was tenured and therefore could not be terminated. However, the school district demoted her to a teaching position and reassigned her to a different school — but issues like these continue to create controversy and debate across school districts all around the country.
While school dress codes are legal, the Anti-Defamation League explains that there are strict criteria for schools to follow when implementing a dress code. Among those criteria are improving safety as well as students’ self-esteem — neither of which this school’s underwear check adheres to. Further, the ACLU notes that dress codes cannot be discriminatory, which checking only girls’ underwear inherently is.
Schools are meant to protect children, not violate them.
It is crucial for schools to respect the dignity of students when choosing to enforce a dress code. When dress codes become overly restrictive or invasive, they risk violating not only the very principles that schools should uphold — the well-being and development of the students — but also the students’ civil rights.
The enforcement of school dress codes should ultimately prioritize the physical and emotional well-being of students and respect their right to self-expression.