Students Start Petition After School Enforces “Outdated” Dress Code for Graduation

For years and years, it’s been the same thing: When it comes to school graduation, you’ll typically find most girls in dresses or skirts.

And sure—dresses are a lovely way to dress up and celebrate momentous occasions, such as graduating.

But have you ever thought about why wearing a dress or skirt is SO enforced? What if the girl doesn’t own a dress? What if she doesn’t like any of her dress? Or what if she simply wants to wear what she wants to wear to her own graduation? It makes you think why dress codes are so prescribed.

The thought really came full-blown when students at Poca High School in West Virginia receives a letter stating the proper dress code requirements for graduation. The letter specifically stated that the girls should only be in dresses or skirts, and can absolutely not wear pants. The letter states that “students who are inappropriately dressed will not march.”

One senior named Caylee Davis couldn’t believe how outdated the dress code was and decided to take action. She began a petition, which racked up more than 1,000 signatures in just a few days. Looks like she wasn’t the only person rolling her eyes at the strict dress code!

“Change needs to happen, because we’re in a different time now,” she said. “And it’s not like all women have to wear skirts and all men have to wear pants. We can wear whatever we want to.”

One of the biggest reasons Caylee decided to start the petition was in honor of her transgender male friend, Daniel, who said he’d feel very uncomfortable wearing a dress to graduation.

“It’s like either I go to my graduation, and I be uncomfortable, and I just have this worry the whole time when I’m supposed to be graduating, my accomplishment, or I have to make a big uproar and fight about it,” Daniel said. “And it’s like, I just want a sense of normalcy.”

Luckily, the petition garnered a ton of positive feedback, with many people wondering how dress codes like this still exist.

“I have not seen any negative comments which has really, really shocked me,” Davis said. “Everyone’s like, ‘What is this, the 50s?'”

Since the petition, spokesperson for the county’s schools, Micah Osborne, released a statement with an updated dress code:.

“Students are asked to dress professionally for graduation ceremonies or as they would for a future job interview,” Osborne said in an email. “Dress code enforcement will not reinforce or increase marginalization of any group, nor will it be more strictly enforced against students.”

Well, that’s more like it! This leaves it open enough for everyone to dress how they’d like but not show up as a total slob.

Check out the video below for even more outdated notions mentioned in the original dress code.

Do you think dress codes like this one are outdated?