The Sideshow

‘Slutty Wednesday’: NY high-school students protest dress code

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Stuyvesant High School is considered one of New York City's top public high schools, but some of the students there think a recently imposed dress code is just dumb.

The New York Post reports that about 100 students decided to protest the code, which bans girls from exposing their shoulders, midriffs, lower backs, bras and underwear, by having a "Slutty Wednesday," during which they intentionally broke the conservative dress standards.

"We work our asses off here, and school is about learning. Clothing is not important," ninth-grader Lucy Greider told the Post. Greider says she's been brought into the office 10 times this year for violating the dress code, which was introduced last fall. "A lot of the classrooms don't have a/c's and when it is 80 degrees outside and it is really hot, it's perfectly OK to show a little skin."

A 2010 poll by the National Center for Education Statistics found that about 57 percent of public schools enforce some kind of dress code. In addition, 19 percent of public schools require school uniforms, a 12 percent increase over the previous decade.

Dress codes, including school uniforms, often drift in and out of the public debate. However, more restrictive dress codes are usually reserved for private school systems. In 1996, President Bill Clinton stirred up controversy when he had the Department of Education distribute manuals to all of the nation's 16,000 school districts on how they could legally enforce school uniform policies without violating the First Amendment.

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