San Jose Unified relaxes dress code, allows halter tops and spaghetti straps

Last school year, Madeline Armacost, then a senior at Pioneer High in San Jose, complained to school administrators that the district’s student dress code policy wasn't fair to young women. 

Someone had complained that her short shorts were too skimpy, and she was told to change into big baggy shorts, which she found extremely humiliating, according to the Mercury News. She and her mother challenged the code. They were successful. 

Last month, San José Unified District board members voted to amend the dress code to remove gender-specific language and "ensure that enforcement creates a minimal disruption in the educational day," the district said. 

The district still has a policy against clothes that officials deem "gang-related,"and most hats and see-through clothing are banned. But short shorts, spaghetti straps and halter tops are no longer banned. The words "midriffs" and "cleavage" aren't even mentioned. Read the full policy here. 

The new code simply requires clothes to be "suitable" and to cover the chest, torso and underwear. If students are told to change their clothes, the district said, it must be in the "least disruptive manner."

The rules apply to high school only, and not elementary or middle school.

School resumes Aug. 17. 

KTVU's Lisa Fernandez and Jesse Gary contributed to this report.