Background: At the May 26, 2015 Portland Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education meeting, four Irvington School students and Oregon NOW president Lisa Frack testified on the need to review and revise current dress code policy (the students’ testimony begins at around :59; Lisa Frack’s testimony occurs at around 1:14)
Districtwide Dress Code Advisory Committee: PPS responded to their testimony by appointing an advisory committee made up of parents, teachers, administrators, and students (including one of those girls) whose charge it was to recommend changes to the dress code.
New Dress Code Adopted: The advisory committee met over the next year, gathering information and inviting public comment, and recommended an updated dress code, which was adopted by the Portland Public School’s Board of Education in June 2016.
The revised PPS Student Dress Code sets forth the following requirements for “minimum safe attire:”
(a) Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent (for example dresses, leggings, or shorts) and shoes.
(b) Shirts and dresses must have fabric in the front and on the sides (under the arms).
(c) Clothing must cover undergarments (waistbands and straps excluded).
(d) Fabric covering breasts, genitals and buttocks must be opaque.
(e) Hats and other headwear must allow the face to be visible to staff, and not interfere with the line of sight of any student or staff. Hoodies must allow the face and ears to be visible to school staff.
(f) Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education, science labs, wood shop, and other activities where unique hazards exist. (g) Specialized courses may require specialized attire, such as sports uniforms or safety gear.
The dress code further clarifies prohibitions on attire or grooming “depicting or advocating violence, criminal activity, use of alcohol or drugs, pornography, or hate speech;” defines parent, student, and staff responsibilities; and addresses appropriate enforcement.
Oregon NOW is happy to provide additional information as requested. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Elleanor Chin.
Oregon NOW Model Student Dress Code, February 2016
Sexist School Dress Codes Are A Problem, And Oregon May Have The Answer by Emily McCombs, Huffington Post, September 5, 2017
Families, not schools, should decide what’s OK for students to wear Guest Opinion by Michelle Ganow-Jones & Sophia Carlson, The Oregonian, May 19, 2016
How Can You Make a Non-Sexist Public School Dress Code? by Elleanor Chin (Oregon NOW vice-president) in BUST
Tired of being humiliated, these girls fought the school dress code. And won. by Evan Porter in Upworthy
These Girls Thought Their Dress Code Was Ridiculous So They Taught Their School a Lesson by Kate Ryan in The Daily Good