Thirty Oklahoma high school students were suspended Friday after protesting the dress code, claiming it was sexist.
Dozens of Mustang High School students held placards reading “Dress codes are sexist,” “My body is not a distraction,” and “If teen midriff is distracting you, you shouldn’t work with teens” during the protest.
The students complained that teachers — especially male teachers — were hyper-aware of female students’ bodies and often ignored them when their male counterparts broke the same rules in the school code.
TikTok user @777Jade, a student at the school, shared a video that went viral, earning over 400,000 likes on the platform. The clip shows students holding the signs and sticking them to the school walls with tape.
“Our school had a protest against the dress code discrimination and the sexual harassment of the male teachers,” she wrote in the video.
She also accused school officials of grabbing and tearing their posters after telling students they would return them.
Dozens of students at Oklahoma’s Mustang High School protested a dress code they viewed as sexist and prejudiced against girls
Dozens of students held signs saying “Dress codes are sexist,” “My body is not a distraction,” and “If teen diaphragm is distracting you, you shouldn’t work with teens”
Thirty students from Mustang High School have been suspended after the September 10 protest
“You know what, Paige? You should be ashamed. You know how many times I’ve tried to help you. My mistake,” a school employee in the video is heard saying to a student in the principal’s office.
Mustang’s dress code prohibits students from showing their cleavage and midriff. Tube tops, halter tops, off-shoulder tops, spaghetti straps or backless tops are also prohibited.
The school’s handbook states that the purpose of the dress code is “to allow students to dress according to current fashion, while reinforcing neighborhood guidelines and limiting disruptions to the learning environment.”
Kirk Wilson, the school’s director of communicators, confirmed that “a handful of students” had been suspended from The Independent.
“There was a small protest in front of school at Mustang High School on Friday, September 10, 2021. When class started, the protest ended and most students just attended class,” Wilson’s statement said.
“There were a handful of students who violated the student code of conduct after class started and those situations were addressed… we remain committed to supporting our students and providing a safe and nurturing learning environment,” he added.
“You know what, Paige? You should be ashamed. You know how many times I’ve tried to help you. My mistake,’ you hear a school employee say to a student in the principal’s office in the video
@777jadeee holds onto her suspension after being part of the protest at Mustang. School claims dress code ‘strengthens district guidelines and limits disruption to learning environment’
The protest in Mustang is part of a growing trend in the country, with teenagers across state lines denouncing school dress codes of “double standard” and “bias against girls.”
In Illinois, a male student wore a crop top to his school to prove that it was only a problem if a girl wore one.
Drew Jarding (17) had already gone to school for a few days this year in clothes that he says he would give me a dress code if I were a girl.
But in August, he raised the stakes by bringing in his friend and fellow senior Kenzie Crimmins (17), who was also breaking the dress code, but in a much more subtle way — and yet only Kenzie got in trouble for getting out of the office with a pink slip because she ‘showed her belly’.
“This is a big problem because it damages the confidence of these girls and sends the wrong message. Instead of “trying to help,” they do the exact opposite,” Drew told DailyMail.com. “I’d like to see the dress code change to something more reasonable and not sexist at all.”
Power to the people! A couple of Illinois teens tried to prove just how sexist their high school dress code is by wearing similar revealing outfits in class
Go low: Drew Jarding, 17, in low-slung shorts and a cropped crop top, which carries most of his legs and also several inches of tummy and even hip bones
Midriff: His friend and fellow senior Kenzie Crimmins, 17 (left), went to school in blue leggings and a red T-shirt with a small strip of belly when standing still
Drew shared a viral TikTok video of the experiment, which has earned 1.8 million likes on the platform.
“Dressing the same to school to show how sexist dress codes are,” Drew captioned the clip.
While Kenzie went to school in blue leggings and a red T-shirt with a little tummy tuck, Drew donned exceptionally low-slung shorts and a cropped crop top, covering most of his legs and also a few inches of stomach and even hip bones.
“To show you how biased they really are,” Drew told BuzzFeed.
Their school dress code dictates that ‘clothing should be modest and conducive to the school environment’ and that ‘students are expected to take pride in their appearance and dress appropriately for focused study’.
But in the seventh period, Kenzie was written up for showing her midriff—although Drew says no one said anything to him.
Drew said that while he usually posts comedic content, he’s glad he stepped out of his comfort zone to bring attention to an important topic.
In California, Evita Frick-Hisaw, 16, known as @baggyjeanmom on the platform, shared images of her classmates wearing crop tops on June 3 as a protest against a dress code to be held that day.
“In protest against the dress code assembly regarding ‘too much mid-drift’, we all wear crop tops. We recommend that you do the same! Guys, support your friends and crop your tops,” reads a flyer about the strike that she shared on her Instagram Stories.
Evita’s viral TikTok video shows her wearing a loose-fitting T-shirt before changing into a cropped tank top to join the protest.
Some students wrote things like “Distraction,” “It’s not my fault,” and “Am I distracting?” about their stomach.
They also put up signs calling on administrators for insinuating that their bodies would be a distraction.
Objection: California teen Evita Frick-Hisaw (pictured) helped organize a strike at her high school to protest the ‘sexist’ dress code
United front: Male students supported the cause by wearing sporty crop tops and open shirts