A Texas school suspended more than 160 students for violating the dress code. Duncanville High School officials said the teens willfully ignored the rules. However, students and their parents are outraged.
Although the dress code is reportedly enforced throughout the year, last week’s “crackdown” was specifically harsh. On Wednesday, school administrators carefully checked each student’s clothing and personal appearance. Those who were in violation of the school’s dress code were asked to change their clothes and remove their piercings.
Students who were unable to comply were asked to leave. School officials estimate more than 160 students were suspended in the crackdown.
As the students had no warning, the dress code suspensions led to numerous outbursts. As reported by ABC News, the teens responded by “running through hallways,” “throwing a trash can into the middle of a crowded hallway,” and starting a “food fight.” Although police were called to the scene, there were no arrests reported.
Angela Salerno’s son was suspended because he was not clean shaven. Salerno said the suspensions are unfair, as the dress code was not previously enforced:
“This is what my student got suspended for… He just didn’t shave for one day… That’s ridiculous… All year, and you’re going to wait three weeks until they get out of school to suspend hundreds of students — makes no sense.”
Principal Dr. Andre Smith disagrees. He said school administrators “have been enforcing [the dress code] all year long.” Smith said the school has a “responsibility to help students adhere and reach those expectations in school and outside of school.”
Although the students returned to class on Thursday, many are staging a silent protest. A number of students have refused to adhere to the dress code, as they want it repealed. In an effort to gain support, the students began a petition at Change.org.
As stated in the petition, the students want school administrators to focus on education — not the students’ appearance and clothing:
“Rather than focusing so much on these minor occurrences, administration needs to quit treating students like criminals for simply wearing the clothes that they rightfully own and for wearing our chin hair that we were naturally born with.”
School officials have declined further comment about the dress code suspensions or the petition. Principal Smith simply said Duncanville High School students are held to high standards and are expected to comply with the rules.
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