Male Students Wear Off-The-Shoulder Tops To Protest Sexist Dress Code

Dozens of girls started a new school year at San Benito High School in Hollister, California by getting in trouble for wearing off-the-shoulder shirts.

Remember the first day back to school, and being so excited to wear a cute new outfit that you spent hours shopping for?  Some students who started high school earlier this month didn’t even get to wear their cute outfits because they were in violation of their school’s dress code.

Students at San Benito High School in California started school on August 10, and before the new school year even started many female students were taken by surprise when they found themselves being cited for wearing off-the-shoulder shirts, which had been banned for years by the school’s dress code policy, but students claimed it was only recently enforced this new school year.

A 16-year-old student stated in an interview with Yahoo Style, "The dress code policy hasn’t been an issue the past two years I have been here.” She also says that other students including herself have worn off-the shoulder-shirts often before, and never was in any trouble. 

From a tweet posted by a student its known that at least 20 girls were punished for wearing the shirts, and it was claimed by that student that some girls were even sent home for the day for violating the high school’s dress code.

As a result, many students (including some of the boys) decided amongst themselves to protest the school’s old yet freshly implemented rule of no off-the-shoulder shirts by donning the style at school. Several of the male students had joined in because they wanted to convey solidarity with their fellow female classmates.




It’s great to see how the students at this school, both male and female, came together for a cause they all truly believed in. From the tweeted pictures you could just see the comradery amongst them all.

Another student felt that it was ironic that students aren't allowed to wear the shoulder-less shirts in class, but it was ok, and actually required that the girls wear them in their yearbook photos.

Andrei Vladmirov, who’s a student at San Benito High School, told Teen Vogue, "Women deserve to be treated with the utmost respect, and this entails being able to dress as one pleases. Women should be able to wear what they want without being systemically objectified-treated as if they have no personal sovereignty.”

On  August 17 the school's principal met with students to talk about the dress code and told them all that from the experience he himself had learned a lot. He said:

“It’s been a really good process for me as principal to sit down and hear where issues arose,” he stated. “We wouldn’t blame a female student at all. We would never blame a female student for another student being distracted by something they wore. The other thing is as a school, we should be looking back and looking at how consistently we address the dress code across campus, and that’s something else students have brought up.”

However, not all students felt that the conversations had with the principal were good. "Off-the-shoulder is a very big trend in the fashion industry right now," an anonymous student said. "It's not harming anyone physically….I think it is ridiculous how we have to fight against the administration to wear a shirt that is not harming anyone."

Hopefully the students and the administration at the school will have more conversations, and hopefully, resolve this in a manner in a way which everyone will be satisfied.  

Banner/thumbnail image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Michael Patrick




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