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High school legging, yoga pant restrictions angering students
The superintendent over a Massachusetts high school is defending a new controversial dress code, saying the goal is to prepare students for the workforce. - photo by Jessica Ivins
CAPE COD, Mass. The superintendent over a Massachusetts high school is defending a new controversial dress code, saying the goal is to prepare students for the workforce.

When Cape Code Regional Technical High School opens its doors to students next week, those wearing leggings and yoga pants may run into some trouble. The new dress code requires that students wear long shirts, skirts or dresses with the pants something that isnt sitting well with a large part of the female population.

I think theyre making the rules because boys are becoming distracted, senior class president Seana Aiolupotea told the Cape Cod Times. Were not wearing them to get attention from people, were wearing them because theyre comfortable.

Many of the students planned to protest the dress code policy by wearing yoga pants and leggings on the first day of school, according to Today. Superintendent Robert Sanborn told Today that students are misinterpreting the policy.

People are under the impression that weve completely outlawed yoga pants and leggings, he said. We did not do that. What weve done is say that if you do wear them, you need to wear a long shirt or sweater or shorts over your rear end.

Since the vocational school is training students for a career, they need to learn how to dress professionally before they graduate, Sanborn argued.

It has to do with employability, he said. Were passing on the skills that are needed in the workforce, to know thats not proper attire when youre at work.

Still, some students argue that the types of classes offered at the high school require more comfortable clothing. Additionally, yoga pants and leggings are more affordable than other types of apparel, argued Aiolupotea.

I can go out and buy four pairs of leggings for the cost of one pair of jeans, she said.

Sanborn maintains that violators of the new rule wont be ostracized by any means.

Nobodys going to get thrown out of school. Nobodys going to be put in detention, he told Today. Were going to use this as a teachable moment.

This is just another in a nationwide string of dress code grievances.

Last fall, Bingham High School students staged a walkout in protest after they said more than 100 girls were stopped at the school homecoming dance for dress code violations.

Many students and parents said the dress code was convoluted, targeted girls, and that administrators did not enforce it consistently.

"They had them stand there in the middle of the hall and be judged," parent Veronica Pehrson said. "It was kind of shameful and demeaning."

In the fall of 2013, 30 students at Stansbury Park High School were denied entry to their homecoming dance for dress code violations most for wearing dresses that were "too short." Many of the girls who were sent home posted pictures of their dresses, sparking anger from the community and a call for a change in the code.

The fallout was so fiery that administrators ultimately held a replacement dance in addition to issuing a formal apology to the students.