- In April, Norwin High School in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, said students who identify as female would not be allowed to wear pants to their upcoming graduation ceremony.
- Hannah Kozak, an 18-year-old graduating senior, decided to challenge that.
- On April 15, Kozak spoke about the issue at a school board meeting.
- Based on that meeting, female students are now allowed to wear pants at graduation.
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Graduation is coming up for Norwin High School in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. But one graduating senior felt that the dress code, which prohibits students who identify as female from wearing pants, is limiting, as CBS Pittsburgh first reported.
Hannah Kozak, an 18-year-old senior, told the outlet that a letter was recently sent to parents saying that if a female student wore pants to graduation she would receive her diploma the following week instead of during the ceremony.
“I don’t see that as very right,” the student said. “I don’t think that as just, and I think it’s kind of discriminatory.”
The only way around the rule was to speak with the principal or any school officials, according to CBS Pittsburgh. So Kozak went right to the source.
On April 15, Kozak attended a school board meeting and presented her case, according to a press release from the district. And it worked.
Kozak met with her school principal and the two agreed “that it would be acceptable for the student to wear professional attire, including pants,” the release said.
Although the administration initially wanted to give students permission to wear pants “on an individual student basis,” Kozak successfully encouraged them to reconsider and amend the policy across the board.
The dress code, which was posted to the school’s website and distributed to families on Thursday, now reads as follows:
“Professional Attire – White-collared dress shirt, dark or dark-striped tie, dark dress slacks, dark socks, and dark shoes. No athletic wear, tennis shoes, jeans, flip flop sandals, sunglasses, or non-school issued items adorning the cap and/or gown.
Professional Attire – White or light-coloured dress clothing and white or light-coloured shoes. No athletic wear, tennis shoes, jeans, flip flop sandals, sunglasses, or non-school issued items adorning the cap and/or gown.”
Kozak, who plans to study political science at Chatham University in the fall, said told CBS Pittsburgh it was disappointing it had to come to this.
“[I feel] just disappointment, maybe a little bit of disgust,” she said. “The fact that, you know, in modern times, women have been wearing pants as formal wear for nearly a century, and I don’t think that limitation should be put onto young girls. I think it sends the wrong message.”
Of course, this is hardly the first dress code conflict of its kind. Recently, in North Carolina, a student created a petition protesting a school policy that prohibited students who identify as female from wearing pants to graduation.
- Read more:
- An assistant principal has been placed on leave after colouring in a student’s fade haircut with a marker because it violated the dress code
- A federal court ruled that a charter school’s dress code is unconstitutional and that girls can’t be forced to wear skirts
- A 13-year-old girl was given a dress code violation for wearing a shirt depicting a bare-shouldered Marilyn Monroe
- A 16-year-old girl says she was reprimanded for wearing leggings and a T-shirt to school
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