We researched dress codes in Chicago public schools. This is what we found. – Chicago Tribune

Good morning Chicago.

Many Chicago Public Schools students are required to follow dress code rules that prohibit spaghetti straps, leggings, hoodies and other clothing commonly worn by young people, according to my review of hundreds of recent school policies.

Young people in Chicago told me that these rules make them feel attacked because of their culture, gender, or body type. The students said they just want to feel comfortable at school and be themselves.

Judai Smith, a senior at Kenwood Academy High School, said some dress code policies tell students they must conform to a particular image of what it means to be a scholar. It makes some students feel like “our blackness shouldn’t be there, and our femininity,” Smith said.

I also found dozens of recent dress codes that seem to violate the school district’s own policies by not establishing gender-neutral rules and stating that students could miss class time because of their clothing or accessories.

CPS did not answer questions about my findings, but says it plans to conduct an audit of dress codes, with the goal of finding out if the policies are harming students or creating inequities.

– Emily Hoerner, investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune

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