Parkview student Laura Orsi has created a new movement called Pass the Skirt that aims to “fight against discriminatory and unequal dress code rules and enforcement.” After Orsi’s friend, Clara Mitchell, was told to change for wearing a too-short skirt, Orsi wore the same skirt the next day without any trouble from teachers or administrators. Yahoo and THV 11 each recently reported on Pass the Skirt.
Claims that dress codes are unequally applied and discriminatory to girls, minorities and larger students are nothing new. In August, I wrote about my own experience with school dress codes 25 years ago and the shame I felt after being told my body was distracting. What is new is the way Pass the Skirt aims to demonstrate that dress codes are unfair by using Twitter and Instagram to ask students to test enforcement across the country by having a friend wear the same banned clothes to see if the dress code is being equally applied, hence the name, “Pass the Skirt.”
It seems as if Orsi’s campaign may already be working, at least at Parkview. According to the THV report, a note was sent home to parents inviting students to propose changes to the student handbook. Hopefully, with more students like Orsi questioning things, in 25 more years, the days of treating bodies as “distractions” will be long over.