A 10-year-old girl is taking a stand against a school dress code policy that she feels body shames girls for wearing leggings. What started as a homework assignment to create a persuasive argument turned into a passion project for Falyn Handley, a fifth-grader at Springdale Park Elementary School in Georgia. Now she’s going up against her school district to get their dress code policy updated.
The district’s policy doesn’t allow “skin-tight” clothing and calls garments like leggings a “distraction.” Falyn started an online petition to change that, calling the rule that was implemented a decade ago “outdated.” Others agree with her because she’s gotten over 1,200 signatures in a month.
“I wear leggings all of the time. They’re 90% of my closet,” Falyn says. “Girls shouldn’t be told how to dress. They should be respected regardless of what they’re wearing. They should be proud of their bodies, and not be body shamed or feel embarrassed.”
She did her research, using the backlash United Airlines faced after banning teenage girls from a flight for wearing leggings, and spoke to a group of policy makers at the Atlanta Board of Education meeting about reversing the policy. They agreed to take out the word “distracting” from the dress code and will meet next month to review the policy. Fingers crossed Falyn’s hard work pays off and they make the change.