Tualatin High School student suspended in dress code dispute

Tualatin High School student suspended in dress code dispute »Play Video

TUALATIN, Ore. - Dress code disputes in high school are nothing new.

“Well, I've gotten in trouble for this skirt,” said Tualatin High School senior Taylor Miller, pointing at her black skirt with leggings.

But some students at Tualatin High School say what’s happening there is different.

“Between security guards,” says senior Gillian Leslie, “females will interpret the rules differently and males will just not call out girls very often.”

Some boys agree there’s a dress code double standard between boys and girls at Tualatin High.

“It makes it difficult,” says senior Chip Campbell, “for students at Tualatin to conform to the dress code because we're not aware what it is and the district and the school, and different articles within the school are giving us different messages.”

That morphed into a message on posters plastered across the inside of Tualatin High, branding the dress code enforcement as "public shaming" for girls.

The student who put up the posters was suspended for a day.

“It embarrasses both the girls and the student body,” says Taylor Miller. “I honestly think it's tied to the inconsistency that we don't understand what rules that we're breaking.”

The students say while the top on one girl in a blue dress with spaghetti straps was OK with school staff, another girl wearing a black top with almost identical straps was told it was inappropriate.

The school's associate principal, Jarvis Gomes, said in a statement, "if it's a male student breaking the dress code, we'll have a conversation with them - if it's a female, we'll have a conversation with them too."

Gomes also said decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

While some students are confused by what they see as inconsistencies, Taylor Miller also believes some students are called out publicly and suggested another way to do that.

“They can pull us aside into their office or a security guard's office,” says Miller, “and tell us what we're doing wrong and then give us the chance to go home and change instead of calling us out in front of all of our peers and embarrassing us.”

The students say they’ll take their complaints to school staff, and if need be, all the way to Tualatin’s School Board.