Are leggings distracting? Atlanta fifth-graders want dress code changes

Vanessa McCray
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Leggings

Vanessa McCray
Falyn Handley, 10, a fifth grader at Springdale Park Elementary School, wears dog-print leggings while she addresses the Atlanta Board of Education on Monday to ask for an update to the district's student dress code policy. She collected more than 1,000 signatures on an online petition.

Two leggings-clad fifth-grade girls asked the Atlanta school board Monday to change its student dress code, which bans clothing that is “extremely tight” and “distracting.”

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The board is reviewing revisions that would emphasize the dress code must be fairly enforced. Some Atlanta Public Schools students have complained the current rules target girls and want the new policy to drop the word “distracting.” 

“This is a label applied to girls’ clothing. I do not believe that clothing is a distraction. It is just the reaction that matters,” said Falyn Handley, a 10-year-old student at Springdale Park Elementary School, who spoke along with fellow leggings wearer and classmate Ruby Segerman. “I should not be punished for other people’s behavior. I am not a distraction.” 

The dress code rewrite is scheduled to go before the board’s policy review committee later this month and then return to the full board Dec. 4. The board likely will consider final approval in January, said board member Eshé Collins, who leads the policy committee. 

Read more about the proposed dress code changes here.

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