"The skirts requirement causes the girls to suffer a burden the boys do not, simply because they are female," the ruling stated.
A US federal judge has struck down the rule of a North Carolina charter school's requirement for girls to wear skirts as 'unconstitutional'.
This comes on the heels of the dress code that required girl students of Charter Day School in the town of Leland to wear skirts in order to promote traditional values engaged in unconstitutional sex discrimination, reports New York Post.
On Friday, Judge Malcolm Howard in the Eastern District of North Carolina said that the school violates the Equal Protection Clause by discriminating against girls. He ruled that the girls cannot be enforced to wear the dress code policy involving only skirts and neither can the school suspend or expel students for violating it.
"The skirt requirement causes the girls to suffer a burden the boys do not, simply because they are female," Howard was quoted as saying in his ruling by NBC News. The "defendants have shown no connection between these stated goals and the requirement that girls wear skirts," the ruling added.
Many parents had earlier voiced their opinion against the dress code policy and believe that their daughter's comfort and freedom to wear warm clothes especially during winters, should be on par with their male classmates.
“All I wanted was for my daughter and every other girl at school to have the option to wear pants so she could play outside, sit comfortably, and stay warm in the winter,” Bonnie Peltier, a parent of the student, told the ACLU.
“But it’s disappointing that it took a court order to force the school to accept the simple fact that, in 2019, girls should have the choice to wear pants.”
It all started in 2016 when guardians of three girls had sued the school over the dress code policy. They claimed that girls had to worry about the positioning of their legs during class.
It also meant they couldn't climb or play sports like their male classmates considering how uncomfortable it can get while wearing skirts.
Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, claimed that the dress code was indeed both "outdated and discriminatory."
VICTORY! We just won our case to make a public charter school end a sexist dress code policy forcing girls to wear skirts and punishing them for wearing pants or shorts.— ACLU (@ACLU) March 29, 2019
It’s 2019. Women and girls have been wearing pants in school and professional settings for decades.
Erika Booth, a mother of one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told The Washington Post that her daughter hardly wore skirts in her day to day life. She argued that it was against what she would do in her life.
However, she said that she was really looking forward to the new dress code policy taking shape. “You can really do more in pants than you can in skirts,” she said. “I’m just so happy.”