City school system orders pants options for female students
I came across an interesting directive from Baltimore city school officials to schools in the district, informing school leaders that they had to offer a pants option for female school uniforms.
Apparently some schools were requiring their female students to wear skirts, a practice that could have been deterring students from choosing certain schools, or going to school at all.
"School uniform policies that do not include an appropriate pants option for female students are considered discriminatory based on gender or sex," the system informed its school leaders. "To ensure we are promoting a positive educational environment for all students, please include an appropriate pants option for any uniform policies that require skirts only for female students."
Apparently, there were four schools that were requiring girls to wear skirts, and city school officials said that the ACLU of Maryland informed that the practice was discriminatory.
It appears that schools were not intending to discriminate, but promote a dress code they thought would encourage a professional culture in the school. But the school system agreed that culture should also reflect the 21st century.
"Uniform policies are about creating a positive educational environment and preparing students for the world beyond school," said Michael Sarbanes, spokesman for city schools. "Women have many ways of dressing in a professional and dignified way in the world and uniform requirements should reflect that diversity. "