Posted: 9:37 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2013

Petaluma middle school bans 'too tight' pants for girls

Kenilworth Elementary School
Kenilworth Elementary School

PETALUMA, Calif. —

A controversy at a Petaluma junior high school over a new dress code restriction on the kinds of pants girls can wear has upset students and parents.

At Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, a school administrator pulled all the girls aside Thursday afternoon and told them they couldn't wear pants that were "too tight" because it distracts the boys.

Instead of heading to their last class Thursday, all the female students reported to the multi-use room and when they found out what it was about there was quite an uproar.

"It takes away like half of my clothes because I have a lot of yoga pants and leggings, so everyone's kind of like mad about it," said Makenna Mattei, a student.

"We didn't think it was fair how we have all these restrictions on our clothing while boys didn't have to sit through it at all," said Brittany Kruljack, another student.

Some parents were bothered by this because they said it sends the wrong messages to girls. "It is not our girls' fault that these boys have quote 'raging hormones' they can't control," said Lisa Simond, a parent of a student

The school's administrators declined to comment, but sent parents a recorded message explaining the new policy.

"The guiding principle in all dress codes is that the manner in which students dress does not become a distraction in the learning environment, and we get that guidance from the California Education Code. I sincerely apologize that my remarks went farther than the intended message we wanted to deliver," said Kathy Olmstead, assistant principal.

That's not the point, says Jerelyn Kruljac, who wore skinny jeans Friday in solidarity with her daughter and her friends. "Boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they're wearing, and that's a big deal."

The school said students who violate the dress code will be sent home to change.

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