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School Tells Girl: Wear a Dress or Skip Graduation

Chelsea Sarvis is a stellar high school senior about to graduate from Chapin High School in South Carolina. Despite her achievements, she might have to sit out the graduation ceremony. See, Chapin High School requires female graduates to wear a dress or skirt to the ceremony, while the boys must wear dress pants — but Chelsea wants to wear pants. The school has given her an ultimatum: wear a dress or stay home.

Chelsea says she dislikes wearing dresses because she doesn't feel comfortable with her body, and she wonders: "Why is it a stereotype that a girl has to wear a dress?"

What if Chelsea said she only felt comfortable in jeans? Would the school be obliged to let her wear them? Perhaps there's something about a dress that makes the school's dress code seem more like a sexist policy that pushes traditional gender roles.

The school could easily avoid drama if it just made an exception for Chelsea or modified its dress code to allow girls to wear dress pants if they want. Do you think it should?


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