Erika Booth’s 12-year-old daughter has three options when choosing her school uniform in the morning: a skirt, a “skort”, and a jumper – which is a sleeveless dress worn over a blouse. However, what she doesn’t have as an option are pants.
Female students are prohibited from wearing pants or shorts in Charter Day School in Leland, North Carolina, a policy which is illegal.
Erika Booth and two other families are suing the school in an effort to force them to change the uniform policy.
Bonnie Peltier, another mom sued the school back in 2016, together with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of NC.
Booth says that the rule is unfair to all girls in the school, and that when her daughter understood that she will have to wear only skirts in school on the first day, she cried.
According to the mother, wearing skirts restrict the girls’ movements and makes them uncomfortable during cold weather.
“They can’t run, they can’t play, they can’t flip upside down. The clothing is simply not as durable. They’re told that they can wear leggings, and any woman who has ever worn leggings can tell you leggings are not pants. When it’s 14 degrees in the morning in January … they’re not pants. They’re not.” – adds the mother.
According to the lawsuit, kindergarten and first-grade girls are also being told by teachers to “sit like princesses” and are encouraged to sit with their legs tucked to one side, instead of letting them sit however they are comfortable.
However, the school allows girls to wear pants or shorts one day per week – when they have physical education.
So, according to Booth, even the school admits that skirts are impractical because they know skirts can’t be worn for PE. So, girls are basically not allowed to be athletic.
Charter Day is definitely not the only school that implements a controversial dress code policy, but according to ACLU attorney Galen Sherwin, their skirts-only rule is “definitely an outlier”.
None of the schools in the local area have a similar requirement, not even Catholic schools.
According to Charter Day School, their policy teaches “traditional values” and “chivalry” in students.
A school office employee also said in the lawsuit that skirts present a more “professional image” for girls than pants.
We don’t know in which world that is the case because that’s definitely not the case in ours.
Booth called it nonsense, and she added that she, as a paramedic, works in pants all the time, as most women in the world.