JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students on Tuesday gathered in front of the Duval County Public Schools building to protest the district’s dress code.
The protest took place at the same time as a Duval County School Board meeting. The students also planned to speak during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Kennedy Murphy, a student at Stanton College Preparatory School, created an online petition calling for the school district’s dress code to be reformed. Murphy said she thought of the idea after hearing another student’s story.
“She had been crying and not able to concentrate in class because the administration had yelled at her so hard for showing her shoulders,” Murphy said. “It was a violation in the dress code she didn’t even know existed.”
As of Tuesday, the petition had more than 1,600 signatures.
The dress code, which is in the Code of Student Conduct, states shirts with thin or no straps are prohibited, and the students say they want to end that rule.
The dress code also says: “Properly hemmed outer garments such as shorts, divided skirts, and dresses may be worn, provided they are not disruptive or distractive, as determined by the school administration.”
Female students feel as if these rules are targeting them.
Late last month, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts students also staged a protest of the DCPS’ dress code and how it’s enforced.
In St. Johns County, the school district’s dress code policy has been the source of controversy for months, as well as the subject of a federal investigation. In early August, the St. Johns County School Board approved new dress code rules, including changes to the district’s policy about the length of students’ shorts.