Lakeside High students say dress code discriminates against women, minoritiesFILE PHOTO USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES: Voters line up outside of the polling location at Lakeside High School in DeKalb County around 8 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — Some DeKalb County students are fighting back against a dress code that bans ripped jeans, visible undergarments, short skirts, and politically or socially controversial words.
They say the problem is how it’s unfairly enforced.
“I feel like it directly targets minority students, students of color, women especially and non-binary students,” said Elena Castaneda, a Lakeside High School student.
Elena Castaneda is among several Lakeside High School students calling on district leaders to rewrite its dress code policy.
“It’s usually never white male students or like light-skinned students getting dress coded. It’s typically Black students and Hispanic students,” said Castaneda.
But Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose views school dress codes as a great equalizer.
“I think it takes the pressure off the competition between kids of what, who’s dressing how. This takes away all that competition and potential conflict,” said Rose.
The students say the dress code is just a distraction from their learning.
“It’s taking away from our education instead of improving it,” said Madelyn Raudebaugh, a Lakeside High School student.
The Dekalb County School District offered this statement about potential changes:
“The student dress code is to be applied to all students, regardless of gender or race, and is intended to promote safe and appropriate learning environments. The next public invitation to review the student code of conduct will be announced later this spring. At that time, suggestions will be considered.”
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