Buchanan High School senior Patrick Smart wore a dress for the first time last week. His classmate, Emma Sledd, wore a collared men’s shirt to school.
“The reason we switched gender norms for the day was to make the statement that what we wear does not define us as students,” Sledd said. “Our district’s dress code should not favor or discriminate any gender. We believe everyone should be able to express themselves equally. A boy with long hair is no less of a hard worker than a girl with long hair.”
Sledd and Smart are among a handful of students across the district who are protesting Clovis (Calif.) Unified’s strict dress code, which the school board is refusing to change in the face of concerns that it’s unfair to all genders.