H.S. Girls Wore ‘Crop Tops, Bralettes And Baby Tees’ To Protest ‘Sexist’ Dress Code

High school girls at a Performing and Fine Arts high school in Sacramento, California, decided they would challenge the school’s “sexist” dress code by donning “crop-tops, bralettes and baby tees” at school. A video of the protest posted on TikTok has gone viral, stirring up national attention.

On June 3, the leader of the protesters, who is 16, and some of her female classmates at Natomas Charter School’s Performing and Fine Arts Academy in Sacramento, California, demonstrated their contempt for the school’s rules.

“Midway through the principal’s dress-code address, students stormed out of the assembly room and took to the school’s courtyard wearing crop tops, bralettes and baby tees, per video of the demonstration. Protesters painted messages across their stomachs that read: ‘Distraction,’ ‘It’s not my fault’ and ‘Am I distracting?’ — challenging the notion that their bare bellies disrupt classroom workflow,” Newsweek reported.

The protest leader claimed, “[The school principal] was going to have an assembly on dress code so in response we wore crop tops to protest. It was a day-long process, we showed up in crop tops and they started dress coding people.”

She also stated, “The dress code is sexist towards women and perpetuates rape culture. It makes us very uncomfortable. … We as students feel like what we wear is not distracting towards others or affecting anyone’s learning environment.”

But Natomas Charter School’s Executive Director Joe Wood gave a different version of what was going on, asserting to Newsweek, “There’s definitely been a lot of misinformation out there. There was no assembly scheduled for that day. Since students came back to campus, our focus has been on their emotional wellbeing. However, we noticed that some students began coming to class in slippers, crop tops and sports bras, so our plan was to have a 2-5 minute conversation with the school over Zoom, as we cannot have in-person assemblies due to COVID regulations. That conversation was basically telling students, ‘Don’t forget the dress code that’s been here for three years, and as you shop for the summer, purchase things in alignment with the dress code.’”

Wood added, “Since [the protest], we’ve been meeting with students to get a sense of what actually happened. We had a town hall…to hear their concerns about the dress code and meeting with individual students.”

The school’s handbook states simply, “Clothing must cover areas from one armpit across to the other armpit, down to approximately three to four inches inseam length on the upper thighs … [and] tops must have shoulder straps.”

Wood concluded, “Part of this is, I think, being cooped up because of the pandemic. It seemed like they were more protesting other schools’ dress codes, not ours, and the largely sexual and racial [tone] they can have. Our dress code’s primary concern is that they come to school with appropriate clothing on their body. The kids are more frustrated about wanting to be able to wear crop tops or sports bras.”

“Mostly girls are wearing crop tops and showing midriff, and the guys can wear tank tops and be shirtless at PE and they won’t say nothing about it,” one of the protesters said, Inside Edition reported. Inside Edition added, “Dr. Addie Ellis, Natomas Charter School’s student services director, said the school doesn’t call out students who have on a top that doesn’t touch their pants. ‘If it’s a sports bra? Yeah, we’re going to call it out, because that wouldn’t be appropriate for a work setting,’ Ellis said.”

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