Stacie Dunn got called to her daughter Stephanie's Kentucky high school last week because she needed a scarf—not because the teen's neck was cold, but because the school said she was dressed inappropriately. Her offense: an exposed collarbone. Stephanie's wardrobe malfeasance is just the most recent flareup about Woodford County High School's dress code, implemented in 2005 and protested by students (one even made a documentary about it) who say it's outdated and sexist, WTVQ reports. The code mandates, among other things, that shorts and skirts fall to at least the knees, button-down shirts can only have the top button open, and shirt necklines can't go beneath the collarbone. School administrators, meanwhile, say the code provides an objective way for teachers to enforce appropriate attire without having to make judgment calls. "The whole idea behind the dress code is to make sure you have a safe learning environment," the superintendent tells Today.com.
Gender-bias charges come in, according to Dunn, because girls aren't allowed to show too much skin "because it may distract their male class mates," which Dunn calls "ridiculous." In Stephanie's case, even the scarf her mom brought wasn't enough to keep her in school because the principal reportedly didn't like how she wore it, though Dunn admits Stephanie also gave the principal "attitude" and has since apologized. One commenter on Facebook writes, "What [was] she supposed to wear?? Do they expect you to break out a burka for school???" Meanwhile, an amended dress code—which would allow crew-neck shirts and wide-strapped tank tops—was presented by the student who created the documentary at a Monday night meeting at the school, Lex 18 reports. Faculty say a committee will meet again Sept. 21 and that any code changes won't take effect till January. (A department store worker was scolded for her shorts—bought in the store's "Careers" section.)