Students at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley are rallying against a dress code policy on leggings, a type of skin-tight garment worn as pants.
“It is not a ban; we’re not banning it,” said Principal Mike Blake. “What we are saying is that they need to be worn with long tops, a skirt or shorts.”
Following complaints in recent weeks, Blake said administrators at Nevada Union have been visiting classrooms to tell students that wearing leggings alone, instead of pants — as is a current fashion trend — will be enforced as a violation of the dress code when they return to classes after the holiday break in the second semester.
“We’re trying to clarify our current dress code,” Blake said.
Scanty attire is not allowed on campus unless it is part of the physical education or athletic attire, according to the student handbook’s dress code. “All bottoms must adequately cover the student’s body while sitting or standing. Shorts and skirts should extend past the palm to tips of fingers as a general guideline. Avoid tight material that inches upward with movement, such as form fitting skirts, dresses,” and, Blake said, leggings or yoga pants.
“Some of them look great,” Blake said.
“The problem is there are others that are definitely not appropriate for school.”
Annabella Funk, 14, a freshman at Nevada Union, said the policy is ridiculous. On Friday, she and other students who had communicated via Facebook, arrived at NU decked in leggings to show their displeasure at having their fashion regulated.
“It was about the force of numbers,” she said. “If everyone shows up wearing leggings, they can’t throw us all in detention.”
Funk said that leggings are comfortable and shouldn’t be banned just because they are attractive.
“I think there should be more of a discussion about it,” Funk said.
“They could have talked to us and taken a vote.”
NU students Bo Perkins and Nick Ortiz said they didn’t see the point in the new dress code regulation. The rationale provided by the administration that it is distracting doesn’t make sense, they said.
“Distracting to who?” Perkins asked.
The policy matches the dress code at the district’s other main high school, Bear River, where leggings without added coverage have not been allowed for a couple of years, said the school’s principal.
“Styles change, so it doesn’t cover every aspect,” Bear River Principal Jim Nieto said of the dress code.
“The language is wide enough to address styles as they change. Kids always try to bypass the codes. That’s nothing new. That’s just part of being a teenager.”
Students who violate the dress code are usually given a warning and asked to change clothes, either using some clean articles provided by the school or by going home or having a family member drop off appropriate clothing.
According to the district’s student handbook, a continuous violation of a dress code initially results in requiring the student to change their attire or possibly be sent home and a one-hour detention.
Continued infractions of the dress code result in a four-hour Saturday detention, a parent conference and ultimately a suspension.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.