SAN JOSE — After someone complained that her short shorts were a distraction, Madeline Armacost was yanked out of class at Pioneer High and ordered to change into baggy gym shorts.
She slunk back to her junior AP U.S. History class — red-eyed from crying in anger and embarrassment — dreading her classmates’ stares. “I had to go the rest of day wearing these giant shorts,” Armacost said, recalling that spring day in 2015.
But rather than accepting the school’s judgment, she decided to fight back. Armacost and her mother, Judi Zamora, challenged rules that they said unfairly targeted and publicly humiliated girls — and they won.
When school resumes next month, San Jose Unified’s dress code will no longer list no-nos like short shorts, spaghetti straps and halter tops nor mention midriffs or cleavage.
With the exception of strict uniform policies that will continue at its elementary and middle schools, the district will veer from the common practice of allowing high schools to set their own stricter rules.
Instead, a new succinct dress code — approved last month by the school board — simply requires clothing to be “suitable” and to cover the chest, torso and undergarments. It bans see-through clothing, and it notes that if students are forced to change attire, it should happen in the “least restrictive and disruptive” manner — in other words, they won’t be yanked out of class or put on display.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Armacost, now 19, who graduated in 2016 and attends Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
“I was so proud of her for having the courage to address us and really challenge us on a dress code that was biased against women,” said Pamela Foley, president of the San Jose Unified school board.
“The process of pulling girls out of class and shaming them was unacceptable,” said …read more
Source:: The Mercury News