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Scarlet letter

Students protest gender-bias in application of school dress codes

By WITW Staff on October 1, 2015

Students at Charleston County School of the Arts in North Charleston, South Carolina, have been wearing scarlet letter A’s on their clothing, an allusion to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, for nearly a week in protest of what they call disrespectful and discriminatory enforcement of the school’s dress code. According to Reese Fischer, a junior who helped organize the protest, faculty enforce the dress code more strictly for girls than boys, more strictly for larger girls than for smaller girls, and verbally deride and humiliate girls who commit infractions. Peyton Corder, also a junior, says she broke down crying after being informed by her guidance counselor that heavier girls must wear longer skirts than smaller girls. “We’re just tired of being objectified,” said Corder. “We worked hard to be here… We want to wear what we want to wear, we want to express ourselves, and we just want to learn.” The protests at the Charleston County School are not unique – recently a number of schools have faced protests about gender-biased dress codes, and students across the country are speaking out on social media through the hashtag #IAmMoreThanADistraction.

Read the full story at The Post and Courier.