New dress code outlaws dresses and skirts in Texas school district

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 4:36 AM CDT
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FORNEY, Texas (WFAA) - Clothing with hoods, dresses, skirts and skorts now all banned for students in fifth grade and higher at a Texas school district.

It’s part of a new dress code that officials say will help improve the learning environment, and it has one soon-to-be sophomore fighting back.

In a few weeks Brooklynn Hollaman will dig through her closet, looking for clothes to wear on her first day of 10th grade.

“We were allowed to wear dresses and skirts and skorts and everything like that,” she said.

But this fall, the Forney high schooler will have to limit what she can put on.

Forney Independent School District is updating its dress code for the upcoming school year.

The district has a seven-page document with every detail, but the most notable changes include this: No clothing with hoods can be worn inside. That includes hoodies, jackets and coats.

Also dresses, skirts and skorts cannot be worn by fifth-graders or older. Pre-kindergarten through fourth-graders are still allowed to wear the latter.

“I even have a little sister that can’t wear skirts anymore,” Brooklynn said.

In a statement, Forney ISD writes the dress code is meant to “improve student self-esteem, bridge socio-economic differences among students, and promote positive behavior, thereby enhancing school safety and improving the learning environment.”

“I think people should be able to wear them as long as they’re appropriate,” Brooklynn said.

Students like Brooklynn aren’t OK with it. So she started a petition, already gathering thousands of signatures against the new dress code.

“She you know, a young lady should be able to choose what she wears. They shouldn’t be forced to wear pants,” said Derick Hollaman, Brooklynn’s father.

Her parents said they fully support her. Derick Hollaman said he spoke to the district to find out why the code was changed.

“I was told that basically hoodies were a safety issue that kids wouldn’t take the hoods off their head,” he said. “When I asked regarding the dresses, I was told that they were trying to teach professionalism.”

The Hollaman family said they disagree with the reasoning.

“I don’t think adding this extra dress code is going to help the situation at all,” said Amy Hollaman, Brooklynn’s mother.

On Monday, Brooklynn said she hopes to appeal to the school board and revert the dress code to what it was before.

“We got the momentum going,” she said.

The superintendent hasn’t been available for an interview.

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