Burbank teen girls call district dress code sexist and propose changes

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A group of Burbank teens have taken issue with their school's dress code and brought their fight to school leaders in an effort to change the policy. (KABC)

A group of Burbank teens have taken issue with their school's dress code and brought their fight to school leaders in an effort to change the policy.

"I'm just really proud of our students for bringing this to a school board meeting. They're leading this through a very respectful process, they're engaging everybody," said Matt Hill, Burbank Unified School District superintendent.

The teens spoke up during a school board meeting on Sept. 7. Some teen girls said the dress code is sexist, not clear enough and not equally enforced.

"When the girls are dress coded they feel objectified and they are put down for their body types and girls who have, let's say, a bigger chest size or they are curvier tend to get dress coded more than skinnier girls who aren't as 'distracting,' which I find absolutely ridiculous because that is definitely body-shaming," one student said at the meeting.

The district policy prohibits garments such as short-shorts, oversized tank tops and spaghetti straps. It also states students may not remain at school if their clothes constitute a serious or unnecessary distraction to the learning process. Some students take issue with being described as "distracting."

"I've also been told shoulders are distracting, which I do not understand. I've asked many of my fellow guy friends if my shoulders are distracting and they've said no," one student said.

Louie Khan, student body president at John Burroughs High School, is leading peers in an effort to make some revisions.

"We're going to be sending out a survey in the next couple of days, or in the next week or so, to get student opinion on the dress code policy. We're going to be sending that out to teachers and parents as well," Khan said.

Some parents said the dress code has meant shopping for more appropriate clothing.

"We had to actually go shopping to buy clothes that were appropriate because she was wearing jackets over her spaghetti straps and it was just too hot," parent Kerri Minniti said.

Another parent told Eyewitness News some girls' shorts were inappropriately short. School district officials said they are also reviewing those opinions.

"Survey students, parents (and) teachers, have some forums or town halls, make some recommended changes and bring them back to us. So we're in the middle of that process right now," Hill said.

Related Topics:
educationhigh schoolteenagersdress codeBurbankLos Angeles County
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