Black girls say D.C. school dress codes unfairly target them. Now they’re speaking up.
For generations, girls have been sent to the principal’s office for violating dress codes: Shorts must reach past fingertips. Shirts can’t be too low-cut. No spaghetti straps. No cleavage.
But these rules are often enforced in uneven ways, and black girls are disproportionately targeted, students from the District said in a report last year from the National Women’s Law Center. Now, some of those students are beginning to speak up — organizing walkouts, lunchtime protests and meetings with administrators to call out dress codes they see as unfair.
In a new report released Wednesday, the National Women’s Law Center highlighted some of these recent shifts and rated D.C. public and charter high schools based on the strictness of their dress code policies.