In the world of high school dress codes and yearbooks, it seems that shoulders are a repeat offender. Schools across the US are notorious for having strict and at times confusing dress codes.
An Illinois teenager who was told the shoulder-bearing sweater she wore for her senior portrait was inappropriate for the yearbook is putting a twist in the debate over school dress codes.
After being told the picture was inappropriate, rising senior Grace Goble, 17, drafted a petition to repeal her school’s dress code, The Daily Mail reported. On July 24, she posted a petition she titled “Maine South High School: end the over-sexualization of young women’s bodies” to Change.org.
She states that nobody at the portrait session told her anything about the sweater being inappropriate and that she’s worn the same top to school and school events without any consequences.
“I have spent a good majority of my life wondering why exactly women’s shoulders are so offensive,” Goble wrote in the petition. “It is ridiculous that young women aren’t allowed to wear the clothing that they wish to wear simply because it could possibly distract someone.”
“Shaming women for wearing the things that make them feel comfortable and happy in their bodies is horribly sexist, and leads many girls to grow up believing that if another individual cannot control their actions around women, that the woman was at fault,” she continued.
Goble said in the petition that her outfit specifically violated a part of the dress code which states that “students are expected to wear opaque clothing that covers them from shoulder to approximately mid-thigh.”
Goble also noted in the petition that there was nothing blatantly offensive about her sweater.
Goble’s petition has been a success so far, receiving over 2,800 supportive signatures in less than a week.
The principal of Goble’s high school also reached out to her the day the she posted the petition. She said that he informed her that she would not have to retake her photo and asked her to be on a team of students who will work to revise and modernize Maine South High School’s dress code.