Seminole County, Florida, July 28, 2022:
On July 26, 2022, at a Seminole County School Board meeting, members of the school board voted to approve a new, equitable dress code. After two years of student advocacy, including speeches at school board meetings, petitions, and legal arguments, local Ruth Project activists were successful.
The previous dress codes for Seminole County Public Schools included bans on cleavage (2020-2021 school year) in addition to bans on items of clothing most often worn by feminine individuals, such as halter tops or tube tops. In 2021, we succeeded in the removal of “cleavage,” and in July 2022, we succeeded in a full revision of the dress code policy that was the product of collaboration between Ruth Project student activists and county officials.
Our Work in Seminole County:
Our initiative in Seminole County Public Schools has been working for dress code policy reform since August 2020. After successfully pushing district leadership to remove discriminatory prohibitions on “cleavage,” our team continues to work for discriminatory dress code policy reform. We spoke at four different school board meetings throughout the 2021-2022 school year: on August 17, 2021, March 8, 2022, May 10, 2022, and July 26, 2022. Our team met with district leadership and directly played a role in writing the 2022-2023 dress code. Our initiative has been covered in articles by the Orlando Sentinel, in addition to their opinion editorial section, and on Fox 35. The Ruth Project has also been featured in Spectrum New’s Title IX In Focus Special, Ms. Magazine, and other local news outlets.