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Banning Leggings? Really, we’re doing this now?

As a kid the phrase “dress code” was synonymous with punishment. But as an adult and a parent I’ve come to look at dress codes a little more objectively. I firmly support dress codes that restrict short shorts and half tops and some shoes even. Girls can’t function and play, as they should while scraping their bottoms because of short shorts and skirts. Kids can’t run and jump and climb, as they should in high heel boots or flip-flops.

To me these kinds of restrictions are more logistical than moral and I’m OK with those kinds of things, as I’ve talked about before. I’m also OK with bans that are more morally centered if the reasons make sense like here. At the same time I feel that some schools go overboard and focus on dress codes and restrictions that make no sense. Things like pajama bottoms for instance. I actually didn’t think a school could get much more ridiculous than banning pajama bottoms, but apparently I was wrong.

In Halifax the Eastern Passion Education Centre, a junior high, has decided to ban yoga and stretch pants. Yes, one of the most popular kinds of clothing for girls, teens (and adults too) have been banned. This automatically posed a question mark in my mind. My 7 year old daughter will only wear stretch pants, or “fuzzy pants” as she likes to call them because they are “soft and fuzzy instead of scratchy, so they make playing easier.” A direct quote from her. She hates jeans. Frankly I can’t blame her.

So knowing my own feelings on stretch and yoga pants, as well as my daughters, I had to wonder why. A blog post on Canadian Family from writer Karen Green sums it up nicely:

“Among the reasons that the school gives for this change to the dress code so late in the school year is that the leggings are “distracting.” Distracting to what or whom, exactly? Well, distracting to the learning process, the school claims … Until the school can provide research and proof that girls who do not wear leggings perform better than girls who do wear leggings, I’m not buying it. The real answer, I think, is distracting to the boys. Possibly even the male teachers. That seems a more likely answer to me. And a much more disturbing one.”

I think that if boys are so distracted by girls in stretch pants that they are unable to learn (and really that’s what we’re saying here) than maybe the boys are the problem that need to be examined. Not girls in yoga pants. Besides, are the jeans girls are wearing these days going to be less distracting to the easily distractible boys? Or are jeans next on the list? Where would this end exactly?

I just keep imagining what it would be like if our school told my daughter that her fuzzy pants, the ones she feels most safe and comfortable in, were too “distracting.” I can guarantee one thing I would be camped out in that office until the ban was reversed, and I’d be wearing yoga pants the whole time.

What do you think?

5 Responses to “Banning Leggings? Really, we’re doing this now?”

  1. paschott

    I'd say that if you're talking Jr. High, then boys being distracted by pretty girls is probably them being boys, not necessarily that they have a problem other than being boys going through puberty. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I'm not there so I can't say what's going on. I know my daughter likes wearing leggings as well, but we always make sure that her tops act more like a dress when she wears them for modesty. That may not be happening in this instance.

    I will agree that knowing where to stop is not an easy call. I think you'd agree that there have to be some sort of standards, though. In this case, the school felt it was appropriate. Looking at the original article it sounds like some of the girls were wearing tops that left the leggings being something less than modest. That being the case, it would likely have made more sense to impose a rule on tops that must go down to a certain point if wearing leggings rather than an outright ban.

  2. Angie

    Unbelievable. We have had our fair share of clothing debates at our school. They were considering going with uniforms at one point until the parents vetoed it. Frankly, I think the pleated skirts they were touting were way more risque than the clothes most girls already wear. My own daughter also loves yoga pants and I think it is ridiculous that they would not be allowed. I agree that maybe the problem isn't really the clothes anyway.

    It is very tricky to try and fit everyone into one group. With any rule or law, the people creating it really have to make sure it benefits the majority rather than single out a few. Just one more thing kids have to deal with….

  3. Kritin Williams

    Actually, this kind of dress was allowed during sports time or Physical Education. pmp

  4. miriama59

    I'm with you. If it was my daughter's school and she was into wearing them I would fight it. I'm sorry but if you want to go after something how about the continuous need to show your underwear? LOL

  5. You betcha

    Most of what I am hearing is from the minds of women, who have very little idea what "really" goes through the minds of young men! The reality is, your daughter is giving those young men about as close a visual of what they look like naked (in form) that they possibly can without actually well, being naked! WTH happened to teaching these young girls modesty? MOST dont even wear underwear under them (hey they are THAT TIGHT and it's easy to tell)!!! Seriously moms… can blame the problem on the boys (and YES there are grown men staring at your 16 YO daughters ass too, PROMISE!) but the bigger question is you make the assumtion that your daughter REALLY wears them because they are comfortable and isnt fully aware it turns young boys on! Take the "my baby's an innocent angel" blindfold off!!!!!! They may be comfortable but are also SLEAZY and really no different than wearing a pair of black pantyhose to school!!! BTW, your "baby" doesnt wear shirts that dont cover her belly because it's "comfortable"…..SHE DOES IT TO ATTRACT BOYS!!!!


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