PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Concerns are on the rise about the current dress code for Peoria Public School (PPS) high schoolers.
“Even something as simple as a dress code sends a message,” said Peoria community activist, Chama St. Louis.
A survey is circling around social media to gain insight into the current dress code.
The Parent Teacher Advisory Council is looking to create a more inclusive code that allows students to really embrace who there are and not shame them for it. The council consists of two Peoria Public School board members, parents, teachers, and community activists.
“We want to be more inclusive as a district, we recognize there are changes in society. We do not exist in a space that says you have to be this way in order to be taken seriously or in order to be successful in life,” said St. Louis.
St. Louis said the code limits the showing of skin and discriminates against women’s bodies.
“It says that a person who violates you in your body is not responsible for the action that they did to violate you, more than you a responsible for what it is you are wearing,” said St. Louis.
School board member Annie Reinking said when it comes to the act of calling out students, it poses distractions to the whole classroom.
“Research shows that when teachers do that it’s not only taking out academic time from really everyone, but it’s also modeling that it’s ok to point out objectifying historically excluded populations,” said Reinking.
Reinking said the argument for not changing the code is because it’s preparing students for the workforce. She said an outfit does not measure how successful a person can be.
“The outfit that I have on today I’m a vice president for a non-profit, I’ve worn it all day, I’ve been on meetings all day with people from all over the country, but technically I couldn’t wear this shirt because of our current policy. My straps are too short, and my cut is too low,” said Reinking.
The survey will be open until August 21st.