These are some of the concerns and questions we have identified:

Title by contributor. Debbie Kessler is one of the team members, but she has not been identified.

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The rules applied across the country, however, go well beyond short shorts. For example, a school in North Dakota recently banned skinny jeans, leggings and yoga pants. What these examples tend to have in common is the targeting of girls — and not just of bare skin but of the female silhouette itself.

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2. We believe that students should never be removed from instructional time because of his or her dress or appearance. Nor should they be shamed as in , where the punishment to wear is a neon shirt emblazoned with the words “dress code violation.”

13 Times School Dress Codes Made Young Girls Ashamed of Their Bodies

As a parent of three teens, I am accustomed to the routine. As I wrote in a June essay for Slate, two years ago, when she was in sixth grade. Her offense: shorts that didn’t meet the school’s dress code (which requires that shorts and skirts must “reach to the fingertips of the extended arm”). She spent the day donning an oversize shirt to cover her body as a punishment.

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A group of girls from our community in South Orange have launched a social media campaign, #IAmMoreThanADistraction, on Twitter and Facebook. The hashtag has unleashed an outpouring of personal stories from their peers nationwide. The world is listening. Various domestic and international media outlets, including the , “,” and have featured the perspectives of these students and their parents.

Everyday Sexism Project: Dress Codes and Rape Culture | Time

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How School Dress Codes Shame Girls and Perpetuate Rape Culture

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The trend has created a new front in the dress code wars. Refusing to be shamed, girls are instead raising their voices. They are demanding to be treated with fairness — as more than the sum of their body parts and more than a classroom distraction to boys. Students at , and , have recently walked out of classes, protesting strict and unfair dress code enforcement.

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But more needs to be done. Our coalition is seeking a change of perspective and focus away from the culture of punishment, blame and shaming and toward one of equality and respect. Our goal is to create a districtwide policy that ensures equal treatment of girls, including fair messaging to and expectations of boys. We hope to promote a healthy dialogue among students and faculty about sexism and stereotypes. In consultation with district leadership, we formed a task force this fall to help gather input from the community and provide feedback to and meet regularly with the local school board, district superintendent and school principals to establish a new, collaborative and appropriate dress code policy that will be in place by spring 2015.