Parents have shown opposition in response to a California school's ban on leggings with no cover. The school justifies its position by stating that it is attempting to teach girls to respect themselves, but parents have argued that boys should respect girls regardless of what they are wearing.
Leggings, which commonly refer to tight fitting pants that are made partially of spandex, have become a popular fashion statement for young girls. One junior high school has responded to the trend by banning girls from wearing the tight pants without wearing, shorts, a skirt, or a dress over it.
"The goal is to teach kids to respect themselves and dress appropriately," Emily Dunnagan, principal of Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, told Patch.
Because leggings are tight-fitting and made typically of thin material, schools are concerned that girls are revealing too much.
"Leggings have become popular among girls and many are sheer," Dunnagan, told ABC news. "When girls bend in leggings the threads spread and that's really when it becomes a problem." The school has also suggested that tight fitting pants are distracting to other students- especially the boys.
Students at the school and their parents have opposed the school's effort.
"Boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they're wearing, and that's a big deal," Jerelyn Kruljac, a local parent, told KTVU.com.
The issue, however, may be seeded deeper than parents think. Many women, young and old, have defended their decision to wear leggings by stating that it is about "comfort" and "variety." But that doesn't stop many young girls from posting pictures of themselves on Facebook in leggings and alluring poses. Some of these photos are also paired with a "rate system."
"Rate for a like" one 13-year-old writes on her Facebook page next to a photo of herself, holding a camera to the mirror, lifting her chest, and wearing tight leggings.
To her, it doesn't mean anything.
"I'm not actually asking them to rate me," she defended in a conversation to her friend.
But to someone else, it could mean a whole lot more. Parents may not be aware of the impact that such a trivial thing as leggings could have on their children. After all, they are more often than not blocked from most of their kid's Facebook activity. But school officials witness it everyday.
"Cover your butts up- I'm just going to say it straight up," Minnetonka Principal Dave Adney told the local paper. "We're seeing too much."
Boys are also not the only ones being distracted. Fellow female classmates don't always appreciate leggings either.
"Sometimes, as a girl, I wish my school had a dress code, because I see a lot of things that I don't want to see," one user wrote on the ABC blog.