For years and years, most schools are able to dictate what students can wear—to an extent. It’s called a “dress code,” and contain requirements for what’s appropriate to come to school wearing, and what’s not.

However, dress codes aren’t always fair or deemed a little outdated. And one group of teenagers from the Natomas Charter School in Sacramento, California decided that their school’s dress code was sexist and needed to be reevaluated.

In order to get their point across, they decided to protest by going against what their school allowed them to wear—by donning belly shirts to school. The idea was show their midriffs, making the point that their bodies shouldn’t distract others from their school duties.

So what did they do? The girls protesting wore shirts to school one day that showed off their stomachs, and wrote words like “Distraction” on it. They also created signs making the point that their bodies shouldn’t be a distraction from teachers doing their jobs.

@baggyjeanmomwe started this all because our principal was going to have an assembly abt dress code so day of the assembly we did this. (There was a reason)♬ original sound – Sickickmusic

One sign read, “Teach boys to focus, not girls to cover up,” and another read, “If children’s midriffs distract you, you should not be working with children.”

One of the protesters, Evita, created a video from the protest to share on her TikTok, @baggyjeanmom, and it went viral, racking up over 3.5 million views.

In the video, Evita mentioned that the protest indeed ended up with the school having “a real talk to change the dress code.” However, apparently some people also got “kicked out” that day. You win some, you lose some!

In a follow-up video, Evita explained that the protest was held on a day that the school was holding an assembly on the current dress code. With so many students feeling like the code “was sexist towards women and also perpetuating rape culture,” they had to act quickly.

@baggyjeanmomReply to @emilemily19 ,thank you for all the support I’m glad that we are finally being heard wether it’s by our school or not.♬ original sound – Evita frick-Hisaw

“We, as students, feel like what we wear is not distracting towards others and not affecting anyone’s learning environment,” she said.

While some commenters argued that showing stomachs isn’t the most appropriate outfit to wear in a professional world either, Evita shot back.

“We know we are going to have a dress code when we get older and possibly have uniforms with whatever job that comes, but right now we are in school, and we are in a learning environment,” she said. “We should not have to be kicked out of class just because we are wearing a crop top… I shouldn’t be the only one speaking on this topic and that’s why we are having this meeting.”

What do you think of the way these girls went about their protest? Do you think school dress codes should still exist, and if so, where do you draw the line?