Pinellas County schools in Florida have enforced a new dress code that bans cheerleaders from wearing their uniforms to school, even on game days. The cheerleaders at many of the county's schools, like Countryside High School, have always worn their cheer uniforms
to school on game day. This year, doing so is a violation of the student dress code.
As one of the cheerleaders' mothers, Christine Johnson, rightly asks, "if it's an approved school uniform "“ which was approved, by the administration, years ago "“ why is it out of dress code?" (as quoted from the Tampa Bay Times).
Many cheerleaders and parents
are just as upset and confused as Christine. For years, they've worn the same style of uniform "“ a sleeveless shell top and skirt. Now, suddenly this year it has been deemed "too vulgar" and inappropriate.
The school board is making the cheerleading squads order jackets and track pants
to cover up the arms and legs. Some schools are even making their squads purchase Velcro attachments to lengthen the skirts.
Not only are the cheerleaders and parents upset about this sudden change, but also because the cheerleaders love wearing their uniform and showing their spirit
and support on game days.
However, that didn't convince school principals, one of whom said that it creates a double standard since it doesn't fall within the student dress code anymore. It wouldn't be fair to let cheerleaders wear their uniforms but not let students wear tops without sleeves or skirts above mid-thigh.
Another school in the district has found a middle ground (sort of). The cheerleaders have more than one set of skirts. They wear the longer skirt with a jacket over the top during class and at school. Another school requires the cheerleaders to wear clothes beneath the uniform. While all schools have their own rules, the general consensus is that cheerleading uniforms
are now inappropriate for school.
Accompanying the article on the Tampa Bay Times website was a poll asking whether one believes wearing the cheer uniform to school is harmless or unacceptable. Interestingly enough, the poll results are split almost exactly 50/50.
Is banning an athlete from wearing his/her uniform preventing that athlete from expressing his/her spirit? Or, are wearing warm-ups good enough? Many coaches and cheerleaders involved believe the district and principals have not made a compromise in allowing cheerleaders to wear their warm-ups or additional clothing beneath the uniform.
Watch the news coverage from USA Today
What do you think about this decision? Do you believe cheerleading uniforms are inappropriate to wear to class or are they harmless? Have you ever worn your uniform to class? Sound off on this hot topic and comment below!
Article News Source: Tampa Bay Times