Video: Atlanta fifth-grader thanks school board for dropping ‘distracting’ from dress code


In a win for an Atlanta fifth-grader who wants to wear leggings to class, the Atlanta school board changed its dress code to no longer explicitly ban “distracting” clothing. 

Springdale Park Elementary School student Falyn Handley, 10, garnered national media attention after she asked the Atlanta Board of Education last month to remove the word “distracting” from its dress code policy. She returned Monday to thank board members as they approved the first update to student dress code rules in a decade. 

“Girls should not have to suffer because of boys’ distractions. A simple piece of clothing is not a ‘distraction,’” she told the board Monday. “APS has lifted a lot of girls and boys today who believe in fairness and equality.” 

The revised policy unanimously approved Monday still requires clothing to be “modest and of appropriate length and fit,” bans “extremely tight” attire, and states clothing “must not cause a disruption.” But the new rules make clear that students should be able to pick what they wear “without fear of unnecessary discipline” and that dress-code enforcement should be consistent and equitable; principals are to work with their schools’ governance teams to create dress code rules.


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