Civil Rights Groups Warn Texas Schools Not to Enforce Student Dress Codes That Discriminate Based on Race, Gender, or Religion

Student dress codes should not discriminate based on race, gender or religion, an array of civil rights groups warned Texas superintendents on Thursday.

The organizations, including the ACLU of Texas and Texas Appleseed, asked school leaders to update dress codes over the summer to remove any gender-based or discriminatory language.

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Some districts continue to treat boys and girls differently or target students of color in their policies, the groups wrote in a letter to superintendents. These policies harm Texas students, particularly Black, Indigenous and LGBT youth, they added.

“As your school district updates its dress code and student handbook, it is critical to ensure that your district’s policies do not lead to gender, race, or religious discrimination,” the letter read.

In recent years, some districts have faced scrutiny for dress codes that appeared to target specific student groups. For instance, Clyde ISD, near Abilene, attracted national attention after suspending a male student for painting his nails in 2020.

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SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News, Emily Donaldson

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