FORNEY, Texas (WFAA) — Hoodies, dresses, skirts and skorts are now all banned for fifth graders and up in a Texas school district.
It’s part of a new dress code that officials say will help improve the learning environment, and a sophomore soon retaliates.
In a few weeks, Brooklynn Hollaman will be digging through her closet for clothes to wear on the first day of her 10th year.
“We were allowed to wear dresses and skirts and skorts and all that stuff,” she said.
But this fall, high schooler Forney will have to limit what she can put on.
Forney Independent School District is updating its dress code for the upcoming school year.
The district has a seven-page document with all the details, but the most notable changes include this: No hooded clothing can be worn inside. This includes hoodies, jackets and coats.
Additionally, dresses, skirts, and skorts may not be worn by students in grade five or higher. Kindergarten through fourth grade is still allowed to wear the latter.
“I even have a little sister who can’t wear skirts anymore,” Brooklynn said.
In a statement, Forney ISD writes that the dress code aims to “enhance students’ self-esteem, bridge socio-economic differences between students, and promote positive behavior, thereby improving school safety and the ‘learning environment‘.
“I think people should be able to wear them as long as they’re appropriate,” Brooklynn said.
Students like Brooklynn don’t agree with that. She therefore launched a petition, already gathering thousands of signatures against the new dress code.
“She, you know, a young woman should be able to choose what she wears. They shouldn’t have to wear pants,” said Derick Hollaman, Brooklynn’s father.
Her parents said they fully support her. Derick Hollaman said he spoke to the district to find out why the code was changed.
“I was told that hoodies were basically a safety issue that kids wouldn’t take the hoods off their heads,” he said. “When I asked about the dresses, I was told they were trying to teach professionalism.”
The Hollaman family said they disagreed with the reasoning.
“I don’t think adding this extra dress code is going to make it any better at all,” said Amy Hollaman, Brooklynn’s mother.
On Monday, Brooklynn said she hoped to appeal to the school board and restore the dress code to the way it was before.
“We started the momentum,” she said.
The superintendent was not available for an interview.
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