School Bans Leggings: They Are Not A Replacement For Pants!

Leggings from Forever 21.
Leggings from Forever 21.

A California school says leggings do not equal learning and have banned girls from wearing them to school.

As ABC News reports, Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma announced the new dress code last week which specifically bans leggings for girls that can be a distraction in the classroom.

Apparently it’s not so much the leggings that are distracting but what’s underneath.

“Leggings have become popular among girls and many are sheer,” Emily Dunnagan, principal of Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, Calif., told  “When girls bend in leggings the threads spread and that’s really when it becomes a problem.”

With this story about how a little boy with a mohawk was suspended fresh in my mind, I was all set to be outraged over more censorship about what kids can and can’t wear to school. But that’s because I thought the pattern on leggings was considered distracting… The sheer thing, well, that’s another issue entirely.

During an assembly outlining the updates to the dress code Principal Dunnagan told the girls they are required to wear a “school-appropriate length bottom,” i.e. shorts, a skirt or a dress, over leggings.  Apparently there was an initial backlash.

Leggings are becoming a problem for schools across the country. Maryland high school student Laura Woche made headlines when her top, worn over leggings didn’t reach her fingertips. Rockville High’s dress code specifically bans leggings worn as pants so they told Laura she could put on a larger sweater or leave school for the day. According to local station WTOP, Laura’s outraged mom pulled her out of school for the week.

I can see the problem. While leggings can be perfectly appropriate as pants I can also see where you run into trouble, especially when they’re sheer. As a principal you can pick and choose between leggings and have a successful policy, you’ve got to take the all or nothing route or you’ll be in the hall all day examining different leggings.

What are your thoughts? Are leggings an acceptable substitute for pants or are they inappropriate in school?

You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

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