California high school graduate strikes back at school dress code with yearbook quote

Chloe Cross has taken a stand against enforcing her high school dress code.

?? – The senior portrait of a recent California high school graduate went viral thanks to her senior quote criticizing her school’s dress code policy.

Cross, 17, said she was motivated to leave this post as a quote after seeing herself and her classmates penalized for what she said teachers and administrators described as clothing “distracting”.

“I’ve been talking to the trustees about the dress code for this whole year and nothing has been done, which is why I wanted to say something in the directory,” Cross told ABC News. “It was my last chance to ask them why they blame the girls’ wardrobes [for] the academic failures of others.

“They literally say that girls are responsible for wearing clothes that make it easier for the people around them to learn, that they are too distracting if they show skin and that they have to take the time to cover up in order to do everything. everyone can focus because apparently they couldn’t before, ”Cross said.

“The fact that the girls have to get up and leave a class where they are learning something so that the guy next to them is not distracted, that just seems really sexist to me,” she said.

Cross said she broke the high school dress code earlier this year – for shorts that were above her fingertips on her 5-foot-10 frame – and was told to go home to get new clothes, thus missing the time to go to class.

“I’m not trying to say that I feel like I don’t need to follow the rules and dress inappropriately,” Cross said. “It was a lot wider than that, highlighting how ridiculous it is to blame someone’s dress on other people who don’t focus in class.”

In a statement to ABC News, a spokeswoman for the San Mateo United School District said the district “holds everyone’s freedom of speech – especially our students – sacred.

“The district team – from administrators to teachers to support staff – encourages our students to freely express their views and interpretation of events and policies that they believe affect them. Having the confidence to share your opinions helps a student grow and become an independent thinker, and that’s something we want for all students, ”said Sheri Costa-Batis, district communications manager.

The dress code in the student manual on the school website states that students should “dress in a way that does not disrupt the learning process, is safe and does not interpret the gang affiliation ”.

Examples of “inappropriate” clothing include “suggestive, revealing or transparent clothing that could distract from the learning process or contribute to inappropriate conduct. (Examples: exposure of the neckline in front or in the back, short skirts / shorts / high slit skirts) “.

“Meanwhile, guys take their shirts off at lunch or wear tank tops where you can see their breasts,” Cross said of what she sees as a disparity in the way the two sexes are treated.

“They started doing daily dress code announcements and for the girls it was a minute and for the guys it’s like three things,” Cross said. “For girls, it’s a long list of impossible things, especially with the stores where teenage girls shop.”

However, the school dress code does not distinguish between gender and gender clothing and includes many examples of clothing boys might wear that they consider inappropriate.

Cross says her senior directory quote was approved by the directory advisor and she has not heard from any directors since it was posted last month.

The Loyola Marymount University related student graduated from San Mateo High School on May 28. She said she hopes her quote from the directory – which she posted on Instagram with the caption, “Goodbye!” – at least raise awareness.

“I hope at least that will make people think and make the girls more aware that it’s not because they are a bad person or that they look slutty, it’s because school just trying to protect these poor boys who can’t figure out how to look at their paper, ”Cross said.