Controversial Los Gatos dress code policy disproportionately targets girls

- The new school year is barely a few weeks old and already there's controversy brewing in Los Gatos. With temperatures at Fisher Middle School closing in on triple digits for August 28, 13 year old Demetra Alarcon put on shorts and a light weight top. She was promptly cited for violating the school's dress code policy.

"I was told the shorts weren't appropriate,” said her father, Tony Alarcon. “I had to go back into the car, where I luckily had a pair of leggings as a backup.”

He says after that incident, his daughter took to wearing long pants and shirts covering her shoulders to hide her bra straps.

Meanwhile, Tony Alarcon took to social media and where he quickly realized his daughter’s case isn’t the only one. He and other school parents complain Fisher's dress code is too restrictive and, as written, disproportionately targets girls.

There's mention of no spaghetti or bra straps, shorts must be at least four inches long, and midriffs must be covered. Also, no hats or hoods on while in class. But most of those things relate to female clothing.

"They think it's discriminatory, but I have not heard from the district,” said Alarcon. “There's widespread desire to change to a dress code that's fair and reasonable."

The principal of Fisher declined to speak to Fox 2 on camera, but the school district did release a statement. Superintendent Diana Abbati writes: "Appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment. Students are expected to wear clothes that are suitable for school activities."

Fisher's principal is hosting a dress code advisory work session Monday evening as a way of clearing the air and making sure the dress code she created reflects community values.

Alarcon says turnout could be small since few want to be front and center on this issue, and risk reprisal. But he says his family is willing to face the fire in the name of making Fisher Middle School's dress code fair for every student.

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