Parents outraged after students ‘shamed’ over dress code violations at Illinois high school

Posted at 8:33 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 20:33:58-04

LOMBARD, Ill. — Parents were outraged after they said their daughters were shamed for their clothing at a suburban Illinois high school after administrators said their outfits went against the dress code.

Chloe Lynch, a student at Glenbard East High School, said she never had issues with her shoulders being out before. On Wednesday, however, she said she and a dozen other girls at the school were told they were violating the school’s dress code policy.

One of the girls was told to put on a bright orange T-shirt to cover up. Other girls who were "dress coded" included girls wearing tank tops.

“I was told I should cover up because boys were looking at me,” Lynch said.

The school's dress code says: "clothing considered to be revealing and does not adequately cover the front, back, side shoulders or midriff is prohibited on males and females.”

Parents said when it comes to girls' shoulders showing, it's never been enforced before.

Related: A Georgia elementary school was criticized for a poster dictating hairstyles for black students

One parent said she felt like the situation has been handled poorly.

Lynch said she felt discriminated against for her gender.

“It was clear there were boys wearing muscle Ts where it was not just their shoulders being shown,” she said.

One mom sent WGN photos of the school's dance team uniforms which were sanctioned and handed out by the school. Both uniforms, when worn, would reveal the student’s arms and shoulders.

The situation has not just parents confused, but also the students.

“I feel bad for the girls and it's a sexist policy that women can't wear what they want. I wasn't dress coded and I've been like this all day,” Reed Brooks, a student who was wearing a tank top at school, said. “Just the idea that men are all pigs looking at women is such a sexist message we really shouldn't be perpetuating.”

In protest, male students wore tank tops with stickers on their shoulders Thursday that read, “distracting?”.

The school district issued the following statement:

We have been made aware of the social media posts about Glenbard East and the dress code. Unfortunately, the information relayed was not entirely accurate. The post has since been suspended. We continue to work tirelessly to educate all students while maintaining a safe and productive learning environment.

In the future, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us to ask questions, verify facts and discuss your concerns. We value communication and collaboration with all our students and families.

Deanna Breen, a parent, said it was all handled inappropriately.

“It made students feel uncomfortable. It made them feel sexualized and I think that was wrong,” she said.

The school district said less than 10 girls were asked to wear the orange T-shirts. However, Lynch said at the end of the day when she went to the dean’s office to retrieve her clothes and ID, the dean had a thick stack of student ID cards. She also said there were about 20 other female students in line for their belongings.