Sometimes, there’s a story that comes along and fills you with hope for the next generation of men. This is one of those stories.
Earlier this month, as students returned to San Benito High School in California, dozens of girls found themselves receiving dress code violations – many for wearing off-the-shoulder tops. About 20 of them were sent home, according to one Twitter user, who said her sister was among them.
Girls dressed in off-the-shoulder tops were reportedly told they wouldn’t be allowed to have their school photos taken.
An anonymous student told Yahoo Style that the school administration said it was “for our own safety”.
“But I don’t understand what they are keeping us safe from,” she added. “I really don’t think that there is someone dumb enough to pull down a shirt, first of all. They have no right to touch me or anyone else at all.”
In protest, a big number of girls at the school decided to turn up in off-the-shoulder tops. And, in solidarity with the girls, a few of the boys decided they’d wear off-the-shoulder tops too.
“I didn’t think we were actually gonna do this”
“Yeah me either but fuck it” pic.twitter.com/at8VRIM8ErAdvertisement
— Brody (@brodycascio) August 15, 2017
One student, Brody Cascio, posted a photo on Twitter of him and a friend, Adryan, both in red off-the-shoulder tops, sitting in a car. He captioned it:
“I didn’t think we were actually gonna do this.”
“Yeah, me either, but f— it.”
Another student who wore an off-the-shoulder top, Andrei Vladimirov, said the protest wasn’t just about clothes.
— Andrei 3000 (@andrei_418) August 15, 2017
“Not being able to wear a certain type of shirt may seem like a minor problem to some people,” Vladimirov told Teen Vogue, “but it is representative of something much larger in society — the fact that women are still, today, being subjected to the dominance of male ideology.”
“Women deserve to be treated with the utmost respect, and this entails being able to dress as one pleases.”
Shoutout to Brody and Adryan for supporting our protest pic.twitter.com/abkC5pJsQU
— j (@ocean__avenue_) August 15, 2017
The female students appreciated the show of solidarity, with one tweeting, “Shoutout to Brody and Adryan for supporting our protest.”
The story went worldwide.
Another student at the school, Mikey Gutierrez, did his bit to support the girls by posting a video to Twitter. The video shows that, when it comes to senior portraits, girls frequently wear outfits that show their shoulders.
Since they wanna dress code all girls for showing too much shoulder, EXPLAIN THIS pic.twitter.com/HubvYN3dtC
— Michael Gutierrez (@helloitsmikey_) August 15, 2017
“I’m showing that the school is being hypocrites,” he tells Mamamia. “It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘for the yearbook’ and that ‘it’s different compared to the casual clothes girls wear to school’, girls have the right to wear off-the-shoulder shirts. In my opinion, it doesn’t show much inappropriateness by wearing that kind of shirt.”
Gutierrez says he never expected the protest to become a big deal and make the news.
“It was so weird but yet it was kinda exciting too,” he adds. “I also think this protest became huge because of the fact that not just girls participated, but the guys took a step into this.”
The school’s principal, Adrian Ramirez, says recent events have offered some “major teachable moments”. He says the dress code will be up for discussion, and students will get to have input.
Should schools have a say in what their students wear on school grounds? Why/why not?