On a day where temperatures reached over 31 C, students say a California high school pulled between 25-60 students - all female - out of class for dress code offenses.
Vista Murrieta High School was only two days from graduation, and in the midst of its exams, when students were taken en masse and escorted by campus security to the office for “On Campus Intervention,” according to a post on Tumblr that was backed up by students and confirmed by the regional school board.
there was more girls in the back of me too 😴 pic.twitter.com/sqiXVg53po— babygirl. (@qiiaaannnaa) June 9, 2015
So you dress code people because it's distracting others from education yet when you send them to oci and they miss their final it isn't?— Chvncy (@Chvncy) June 9, 2015
Karen Parris, spokesperson for Murrieta Valley Unified School District confirmed the incident to Yahoo Canada; she said 25 students were removed as they arrived for school. Some students claimed the actual number was as high as 60. Most of the students said they were cited for wearing skirts or dresses that were too short. Parris denied student claims that they had missed final exams because of the action.
Temperatures on Monday, June 8 reached over 37 C in Murrieta. With the combination of the extreme heat and the fact that it was the last week of school, Perris said the school was on the lookout for students who might break the dress code.
"It was the last week of school," she said.
"The temperatures down here in Murrieta were up into the 90s (Fahrenheit). When that happens girls tend to start pulling out their summer clothes. it’s not unusual for students in the last week of school to try to test the limits a little bit."
So when they arrived on Tuesday, school staff and cmapus security were there to observe dress code violators and send them to OCI, Perris said.
The student handbook addresses 18 areas that apply to all students. In addition, there are five regulations that apply to females specifically:
Some students said they’d been removed from class even though there wasn’t anything wrong with their dresses.
The punishment for not complying with the dress code includes forcing students to wait in OCI while someone gets them clothes that meet regulations. That led to some panicked students trying to find additional clothes to wear so they could get back to class.
The girls who were singled out got a lot of support from their classmates.
Vista: express yourself & be you! Vista: no not like that, you're going to OCI!— boy toy named roy ☾ (@Roy_Thomas_) June 10, 2015
I mean guys joke about girls getting dress coded, but if they were equally dress coded too I guarantee you they'd also be complaining— zack (@Visionnaryy) June 9, 2015
But not from everyone.
if you all just follow the dress code. there wouldn't be a problem. simple as that.— bay/ee (@lopezbaylee) June 9, 2015
School district administrators have the final say in determining what's appropriate and inappropriate according to the dress code, Parris said.
"That code has been enforced all year long," Parris said,
"On the last week of school, that should not have come as a surprise to anyone."
Perris didn't know if there had been any other incidents in the school where 25 girls were pulled into the office at once, but admitted the number was "definitely higher than normal for dress code."
If the school claims to enforce its dress code strictly, it missed a day. On May 12, 2015, the Citrus Belt Area Athletic Directors Association honored its Athletes of the Year for each member school. Texie Petchell, who was named top female athlete at Vista Murrieta, attended the ceremony wearing what appear to be skintight yoga pants. Vista Murrieta prinicpal Mick Wager also attended the ceremony, and tweeted a picture with Petchel after the ceremony.
Congrats to Texie Petchel and CJ Alumbres awarded Citrus Belt Athletes of the Year! pic.twitter.com/FeuuzPsba7— Mick Wager (@principalwager) May 12, 2015
That kind of enforcement didn’t sit well with some students.
What is the point in making specific rules to follow if you get to decide what's wrong or right however you want pic.twitter.com/HhYv4dJaeu— jeffrey chang (@kasantusan) June 9, 2015
Perris said the district has different rules for boys and girls because they often wear different clothes.
"You don't typically find boys wearing leggings or skirts, so that's why it's different."
But one post seemed to contradict that argument: while 25 girls were being pulled aside mostly for the length of their skirts and dresses, boys dressed similarly got off scot-free. The VMHS dress code doesn’t have any regulations for the length of boys’ shorts.
but I can't wear shorts that length??? pic.twitter.com/QeBaj3EZlG— LOser (@LaurenCallella) June 9, 2015
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