AUSTIN (KXAN) — Big changes could be coming to the way students in the Austin Independent School District are allowed to dress in class.
AISD is proposing a dress code overhaul, after hundreds of parents signed a petition claiming the district’s current dress code is sexist and racist.
The petition reads in part:
“The current district dress code does not uphold the AISD values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It contains vague language, arbitrary restrictions, and emphasizes bans on clothing that are primarily worn by females and minorities. It also allows for individual schools to create additional restrictions, which leads to further inequality across our district.”
In response, the school district drafted a potential new dress code that would do away of many of the current dress code restrictions.
Under the proposed new dress code, students would be allowed to wear hats, sweatshirts with hoods up, athletic wear and even pajamas. Specifically for girls, spaghetti straps, tank tops, halter tops and shorts and skirts of any length, as long as the buttocks are covered, would be permitted. The draft says bra straps and underwear waistbands could also show under the new rules.
Students still would not be allowed to wear clothing with profane or violent language or images.
The draft also includes changes to dress code enforcement. It says educators could not shame students who are in violation of dress code. It also emphasizes that the goal would be to not remove students from class for being in violation of dress code. Instead, they would be given other options, like changing into more appropriate clothing.
Students would also be allowed to dress according to their gender identity.
On Wednesday, a working group made up of parents who volunteered and AISD Health Services Department employees will review the draft as well as results from a survey sent out to AISD parents. From there, they’ll make recommendations for the final new dress code.
The district says the changes will go into effect in the 2019-20 school year.
You can tell AISD what you think about the new dress code on their online survey here.