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Evanston Students Ask: "Are My Pants Lowering Your Test Scores?"

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This sounds a bit Medieval: according to The Evanston Review, female students at Haven Middle School were told to stop wearing leggings. Because they're not formal enough for that particular institution? Nope. Because they're "distracting to boys."

Seventh grader Sophie Hasty emailed the paper to share the new mandate. "Not being able to wear leggings because it's 'too distracting for boys' is giving us the impression we should be guilty for what guys do," the 13-year-old said. "We just want to be comfortable!"

The ban on leggings and yoga pants is a recent addition to the school's dress code, which previously did allow leggings—just not with short shirts. The rigid regulations for girls' attire upset parent Juliet Bond.

"For me, it's about shaming girls about their bodies," she told the Review. "It's this message across genders that girls have to cover up, and teachers saying to girls, the reason for this rule is so that boys aren't distracted. At what point do you take girls out of school altogether because boys can't handle it?"

According to Slate, 500 students have signed a petition contesting the rule. And, girls are showing to class wearing leggings and holding signs that have slogans such as "Are my pants lowering your test scores?"

We're proud of these local students. Taking a bold-but-peaceful stance against rules that are put in place for "the boys'" sake is a great way to insist on gender equality. Plus, girls aren't the only victim here: the rule makes an unflattering and unfair assumption of guys, too. A picket like this seems far more effective than, say, banning the word "bossy" (personal opinion here, folks.)
· Middle-School Girls Picket For Their Right To Wear Leggings [Slate]
· Evanston Middle School Students Protest Dress Code Over Leggings, Yoga Pants [Evanston Review]