Students at Greater Johnstown High School are protesting the district’s dress code, alleging that the policy is antiquated and unfair toward female students.
Jaydah Favor, a sophomore, had a hand in organizing demonstrations to address this issue Tuesday and Wednesday, and has also been asked by administrators to join a committee to review the rules.
According to the 2020-21 student handbook on the district’s website, Greater Johnstown’s requirements prohibit “clothing that disrupts learning.”
That includes tight clothing that exposes a bare midriff, a provocative neckline, apparel that reveals undergarments, such as bra straps and boxers, and short shorts or short skirts.
If a student violates these provisions, she or he would be asked to change clothes, the code says.
Additionally, hats, caps and hoods are prohibited, along with clothing that advertises or implies illegal activities, objectionable pictures, obscene language, double-meaning wording and alcohol, drug or tobacco use.
Other area junior-senior high schools follow similar codes:
• Conemaugh Valley: Shorts and skirts must be loose-fitting and an appropriate length. Undergarments must be covered, and there should be no exposed midriff, camisoles, off-the-shoulder shirts, low-cut or plunging necklines, open shirts showing bare skin, slippers, excessively sagging or rolled pants. Tops must be at least three inches in width at the shoulder, and proper shoe apparel will be worn. Suggestive slogans and symbol decoration on clothing are not permitted, nor is any style of dress that would create a safety or health hazard to any individual. Teachers and coaches may establish such rules and regulations as they deem necessary for the safety of all students. Hats, head or face coverings, coats and blankets are not permitted as well.
• Forest Hills: Prohibited dress includes items such as sleeveless tops, tank tops, spandex or cut-off sweats, sleepwear, short shorts, jeans with excessive holes, coats slippers, see-through tops and exposed undergarments. The display of sexual themes, drug, alcohol or tobacco products, safety pins or other pointed objects, and non-religious head coverings, coats and slippers is also not permitted.
• Windber Area: Students must have appropriate apparel and good grooming habits.
Shirts and tops that expose the midriff, cleavage, undergarments or which are skintight are prohibited. The same goes for tank tops and cut-off or sleeveless shirts. Finger-tip-length shorts are permitted during designated dates and knee-length shorts are permissible the rest of the time. Clothing should not feature alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances or double-meaning wording. Violators of these schools’ codes are subject to warnings, would be required to change clothes and could face disciplinary action at the discretion of the individual school districts.