School Bans Leggings in California, Cites Problem "When Girls Bend"

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A California junior high school has banned leggings, which are increasingly worn as a substitute for pants by females these days for reasons unknown.

The school announced the "re-enforcement" of its dress code this week, and that means banning leggings for girls that are a “distraction” in class.


“Leggings have become popular with girls and many are sheer,” Emily Dunnagan, principal of Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, Calif., said.

“When girls bend in leggings, threads spread and that’s when it becomes a problem.”

Similar to Lululemon's see-through yoga pants, teenage guys might not consider it a "problem" per se ... but it's definitely a distraction, no doubt.

Dunnagan called an assembly of all 450 girls, ages 12-14, in the 900-student school last Thursday to discuss leggings and the school’s dress code policy.

She stressed to the female students that they are required to wear a “school-appropriate length bottom,” i.e. shorts, a skirt or a dress, over leggings.

The message surprised the students and caused an initial backlash as parents and students alike asking what would be allowed and what would not.

“The students asked specific questions about specific outfits and the message got lost in trying to clarify, ‘Is this okay, is that okay?’” Dunnagan said.

Dunnagan says administrators received only around seven calls and emails protesting the policy and have had just four in-school infractions since.

The violators were temporarily pulled out of class to put on a new outfit of either long gym shorts or a yellow “School is Cool” t-shirt, depending on the infraction.

“Our dress code is vague because as styles change, the code needs to change,” Dunnagan said of the current code, which is admittedly nebulous.

“This was a whole staff decision of everyone just wanting to make the school a distraction-free zone and allow kids to be kids,” the principal said.

“We realize that part of becoming a teenager is expressing your individuality with your clothing but we need to do that in a distraction-free way.”

VOTE: Should leggings be allowed in schools?

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