An independent school district in a suburb of Dallas, Texas has been accused by parents and students of introducing a “cult” and ostracizing girls with an updated dress code.
The Forney Independent School District said last week that it would ban students from wearing skirts, dresses and jeans back to school in September, angering both parents and students.
On Monday, parents – including Forney Mayor James Traylor – told school board members and attendees that an updated dress code excluding skirts and dresses had an unfair impact on girls.
“I don’t think a man should tell a woman what she should wear,” Mr Traylor said, according to WFAA. “I work with women every day, and they wear dresses, skirts, and they’re professional.”
Another parent asked the council, “Do I really need to ask permission for my daughter to be a girl?”
Online, many commented that Forney ISD had introduced a “Victorian” dress code for students, with one person writing on Facebook: “It looks like a cult.”
“It is designed to prevent what they perceive as boys from wearing dresses and skirts,” wrote one reviewer. on Twitter. “It’s transphobia and we all know it.”
A parent who attended the meeting responded by saying he had mentioned the dress code in relation to transgender students and had been thanked by others.
“A few parents thanked me for talking about it the way I did and a current student thanked me because they’re not in a safe place to talk about it publicly,” the parent said. added on Twitter.
According to Forney, the dress code – which also prohibits “hoodies” and other so-called fashionable clothing – would ensure that “socio-economic differences between students” are mitigated.
The ISD also claimed that students’ self-esteem would be enhanced and that the dress code would “promote positive behavior, thereby improving school safety and the learning environment.”
“I think it’s hugely limiting for kids and children in this neighborhood to express themselves,” parent Christian Reed said at the meeting, citing the increased cost of sourcing a new wardrobe for families. low income.
“You know, we have to buy a set of clothes for school and then a set for everyday life. Most school districts don’t do this.
A petition organized by a student has since received more than 10,000 signatures, we learned.
In a statement to the WFAA, a Forney ISD spokesperson said, “The use of a school dress code is established to enhance student self-esteem, bridge socio-economic differences among students, and promote positive behavior, thereby enhancing school safety and improving the learning environment.”
The Independent approached the school district for comment.