'If you think you can change it, change it': Teen fights 'sexist' school dress code

A Cobb County middle school student is pushing back against the school district’s dress code policy. The teen and her friends have been wearing shirts to school that read "Dress codes are sexist, racist, classist."

Sophia Trevino said she is advocating for change not only for herself but for all the girls that come after her.

"If you think you can change it, change it," said Trevino. 

That seems to be the 13-year-old’s motto these days. She is an 8th grader at Simpson Middle School and spent the last few weeks on a missing to change her school’s dress code. 

She said she spent her first period on the first day of school in the front office after one of her teachers found her in violation of one of the school’s dress code rules that state "pants may be worn as long as there is no skin exposed above the fingertip length."

"So, it this hole and these two holes before they were covered, they weren’t covered then, but now they are covered, so I can wear them to school," Trevino said showing off the offending pair of jeans.

She said she was surprised she wasn’t alone in the front office that day.

"I walked in, there was about 16 or so girls, only girls, no boys, and most of them were 8th grade, but some of them were in 6th and 7th," Trevino recalled. "And we just sat there, taking turns calling our parents for new clothing."

Trevino claims the dress code is a "sexist" rule. She said what made matters worse, it was only girls in the front office that day, no boys. Now, this 13-year-old is calling on the school and the school district to implement a "fair dress code policy." 

As part of her campaign, she made T-shirts that read "Dress codes are racist, sexist and classist." She wears it to school every day and makes them for free in her home for friends. She has also launched a website, nomoredresscodes.com, and a change.org petition that has already garnered more than 1,800 signatures.

Trevino would like a dress code policy similar to Portland School Board’s policy. It adopted a new dress code policy a few years back that includes a top, a bottom, and shoes. Nothing see-through on private areas and undergarments must be covered.

"We should be able to wear whatever we want. If they say that the parents can choose if we wear masks and they’re optional, shouldn’t our clothing be up to our parents too?" she asked.

The Cobb County School District released the following statement in response to the incident:

"The District’s dress code for students is Board policy JCDB-R which includes a minimum standard of dress and exists, per the policy, so students dress in a way which is ‘consistent with the formality of school.’"

The district added that each individual school can establish additional requirements for students.

Trevino said she plans to make her case before the Cobb County School Board at their next regular meeting on Sept. 16.

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