On Wednesday, a Judson High School student shared a photo of a flyer
she'd found posted in a JHS bathroom on Twitter. By Friday afternoon, the tweet had racked up more than 7,000 likes.
The poster reads: "When you interrupt a girl's school day to force her to change clothes, or send her home because her shorts are too short or her bra straps are visible, you are telling her that making sure boys have a 'distraction free' learning enivornment (sic) is more inportant (sic) than her education."
Instead of shaming girls for their body, teach boys that girls are not a sexual objects (sic)"
In an interview with KSAT
, Judson Independent School District spokesman Steve Linscomb said school administrators had found a few copies of the sign in both boys and girls bathrooms on campus.
It's unclear if these posters are a response to a specific incident, but based on the online response from fellow San Antonio high schoolers, it's clear the dress code has rubbed many the wrong way.
"Say it louder for people in the back," one boy wrote. "This needs to be hung everywhere around the school," wrote a girl. "So proud of my high school and how the posterity is shaping it," wrote another.
Judson ISD's dress code doesn't explicitly mention gender, but most items of clothing banned fall into one of three categories: gang-related clothing, clothing with offensive imagery or words, and clothing commonly worn by girls.
Specifically, tops with "exposed backs, spaghetti straps" and "excessively tight" garments like "stretch pants, leggings, jeggings and yoga pants" are prohibited for Judson ISD students of all ages.
The district's reasoning for this?
"A student’s appearance has much to do with the way the student feels about himself or herself," the district's "2017-2018 Dress and Grooming"
guidelines read. "Appearance also affects the way in which other students respond to them and has a great deal to do with student success and the learning atmosphere of the school."
In short, Judson students are responsible for dressing in a way that doesn't affect other students.
In particular, the code suggests that students will inevitably be distracted by other kids who are showing too much of their shoulders or backs on a warm day, or wearing pants that lets other students see the outline of their legs.
The biggest takeaway: Students should be punished for distracting others with their bodies. And the people who are distracted by the student's bodies are allowed to ogle.
It's not too far from the flyer's argument.
Linscomb disagreed, arguing that the dress code isn't "just a girls issue," and that some students may be bringing this penalty on themselves.
“When you come to school, you have to ask yourself, ‘What’s the reason why I’m here? Am I here to cause attention to myself or further my future through academics?’” Linscomb told KSAT.
It's important to note that Judson ISD joins most Bexar County school districts in this dress code language — and its certainly in line with general public school dress codes across the country. But this kind of backlash to school dress codes have become more
and more common
in recent years, especially during the warmer seasons when skirt, shorts, and tank tops make an appearance.
In April, the vice principal of Tom C. Clark High School
in San Antonio made a student call home to request a change of clothes, since her long-sleeved dress was apparently too short. In a Facebook video, her mother that after her daughter was "shamed" in front of her classmates, she called her mother in tears.