A number of schools in the US state of Texas are looking into their dress code policy after a male high school student was suspended for wearing makeup in class.
The teenager, whose identity has not been made public, received disciplinary action for violating a rule in the school district’s dress code that reads, “Boys may not wear makeup,” and refusing to take it off when asked. However, people throughout the community have gone to bat for the student, saying that the rule is outdated.
One of the boy’s friends, Jasmine Richards, even launched a petition to get it revised, according to Houston local station KHOU.
The petition that appeared on Change.org on Saturday reads: “Alvin ISD has a dress code policy in place that includes several gender-biased policies such as preventing boys from wearing makeup and earrings (both things that girls are allowed to wear). These policies are based entirely on outdated and sexist gender standards. Prohibiting boys from wearing makeup because makeup is ‘only for girls’ also prohibits them from expressing themselves in what is supposed to be a safe environment.”
As a result of the petition, Alvin ISD responded by setting up a meeting with the student who was suspended and his friend Richards, which Assistant Superintendent Daniel Combs tells Yahoo Lifestyle was a “good learning opportunity.”
“We started a great dialogue and allowed the students to share their insight, share their perspective, and share their concerns. And working together with the students, we talked about what’s a good course of action moving forward,” Combs says.
“As a district, we are going to put together a committee that will allow our community, our parents, as well as our students, to have a voice, and go back through the process to look at our dress code and, again, identify areas of concern and make recommendations.”
The process that Combs details isn’t something new, as the district has a fairly frequent review process where a representative committee makes recommendations to the administration. But he says that the students will be an “integral part” of this particular revision, where the district aims to address the specific concerns head-on.
So far, Combs says that the community has responded positively to the idea of reevaluating the dress code, with many noting that the district has been super responsive.
“That’s our goal as a school district,” he says, “to serve each student as an individual.”
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