Ava Rheeve and Julia Going are two students that attend Cedarburg High School in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. The school, like many others across the U.S., has a rather strict dress code, and it bans girls from wearing tank tops with thin “spaghetti” straps, among other ridiculous rules. The students were informed on July 15 that they would be heading back to school this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, and they are not required to wear masks. However, the strict school dress code remains in place, which seems rather confusing. In order to battle this decision, Rheeve and Going started off a petition which has since gained more than 1,500 signatures, and the school was forced to reverse its policy on face masks.
According to the school’s handbook, some clothing choices are “a disruption to the education process”. Well, the girls argued that not wearing a mask during a global health crisis was equally disruptive, and they had a really good point. I mean, their shoulders are somehow a distraction to a boy’s education, but the fact that people might be breathing a virus germs all over them is not distracting?
Going and Rheeve drafted a petition to urge the school to reverse the decision about face masks, and they asked the student body to join hands and sign the petition.
This is what the petition reads:
“Administration has been able to discipline students in the past for rules as trivial as shorts length and tank-top strap width. thus it carries that they should be equipped to handle violations which endanger the lives of Cedarburg students, teachers, families, and community members.”
The petition has since received more than 1,500 signatures, so the administration at Cedarburg High School had to change its position on masks, and students will be mandated to wear masks at all times when they return to school in September.
The school’s principal, Mr. Adam Kurth, praised the girls for their courage in a statement:
“Regardless of anyone’s beliefs on wearing masks, we are extremely proud of the courage our students showed in taking a stand for what they believe. Ava and Julia showed tremendous maturity in their advocacy for the safety of themselves, their peers, and our school community.”
Well done, girls!
Julia Going and Ava Rheeve are heroes. 👏https://t.co/UqfFkDBY1W
— Aimée La Fountain (@aimeelafountain) August 26, 2020