As many of you may remember, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Advocacy Committees worked on drafting a dress code resolution last school year. The resolution was first approved by our DCCPTA Board and then it was shared with our local chapters for them to vote on and the resolution was approved with a majority vote across our local DCPS PTA/PTSA’s. The next step in the process was to then share our resolution with the DCPS school board for their consideration, which we did at the end of last school year. To clear up some confusion, our DCCPTA resolutions are not binding with DCPS nor the school board. It is simply an advocacy tool that we can use to share with DCPS and the school board a majority sentiment on a particular issue. This can be used to persuade the school board and/or district to consider a possible change as it can bring to light stakeholder support for a change.
While we had hoped our resolution would lead to more significant changes in the dress code policy, as well as procedures at the school level, the only change made at this point was to remove the language: “form fitting or overly tight clothing shall not be worn without appropriate outer garments”. We are continuing to have conversations with both school board leadership and DCPS leadership in hopes of being able to work towards changes that many stakeholders desire.
Our current main focal point of advocacy is the issue of shorts lengths.
- We know that many female students are experiencing disproportionate dress code infractions due to this.
- We know that many schools are using the language of “fingertip length” as the guideline for the dress code.
- We know this is creating difficulty in finding shorts that meet this requirement and that many female students are instead wearing pants to avoid the violation, despite the hot weather and their preference.
The “fingertip length” language is not contained in the student code of conduct. This is a guideline that the schools are using at their own discretion and often point to other words in the dress code, such as “distracting”, as their support for this policy.
We understand there are many concerning things going on all around us and it can feel that perhaps the dress code is unimportant in comparison. We would instead put forth that this could be the easy win that most of us can embrace. The DCCPTA resolution is proof that the majority of our school communities are in favor of our dress code being updated.
When so many issues are divisive, our children are dealing with incredible stress and pressure and our school staff and educators are navigating tumultuous waters-this could be a bright spot. So much time, energy and stress are wasted enforcing rules that are no longer embraced by the majority of our community. We advocate, on behalf of our membership, that the “finger tip length” shorts rule be eliminated.
Many of you have reached out to us, wanting an update, and wanting to know how to advocate for change in this area. While we will continue to have conversations on our end, we welcome others to add their voices as well. The more of us that ask for change, the more we can communicate clearly to our district that this is an important and needed change.
Who To Contact For More Information
If you have already had conversations with your school’s principal and still have concerns about shorts lengths dress code enforcement going on at your school, please email the individuals listed below and share the specifics about your experience including dates, school name and details given to student for the code of conduct violation for each instance. Feel free to also email us at the DCCPTA emails also listed below.
DCPS Student Discipline:
Also regional leadership:
- Middle School:
- Dr. Denise Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org
- High School:
- Mr. Timothy Simmons: email@example.com
We support respectful, but earnest dialogue, among the stakeholders across DCPS so that we can all work towards a healthy and welcoming place for our students to come each day; comfortable to be themselves as well comfortable in our Florida weather.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Diversity@dccpta.org
Advocacy Committee, Advocacy@dccpta.org