Most parents tend to feel strongly when the school changes policies, and their children have to abide by new rules. One father in Arizona was enraged when he found out the school was deciding to change its dress code requirements.
He decided to do something dramatic to prove his point. Keep reading to learn more…
In the town of Gilbert, Arizona, a school board meeting took a very unexpected turn when a father named Ira Latham stripped down his clothing to reveal a peculiar outfit. Under his professional attire, he was wearing a crop top and short shorts to prove a point he felt quite strongly about.
“Under the proposed policy, this would be appropriate in a classroom,” Ira Latham said at the meeting. He took off his shirt and pants at the podium to really drive his point home.
The meeting was being held to discuss setting up a more relaxed dress code Higley Unified School District began. The discussions had been going on since May, and most people in the school district were keyed into what they would entail.
According to the new policy, “clothing must cover all private body parts and/or undergarments and must not be see-through. Undergarment waistbands and/or straps that are incidentally visible under clothing are permitted; however, undergarments may not be worn as clothing.”
To really make his point, the father wore a crop top and short shorts to show what would now be permissible to wear to school. He said, “Under the proposed policy, this would be appropriate in a classroom.”
Unlike the previous rule, which was established in 2001, the new dress code allowed students to expose their chest, abdomen, and midriff.
Latham has four children in the school district and believes that this dress code would hinder in his children’s education in a classroom. He said, “As a parent, I expect the district to be able to enforce policies that help my children be able to go to class and know how they can contribute to a safe classroom environment, as well as limiting the needless distractions in class,” he said.
“This policy does not do that. I also think that it brings a lot of unnecessary pressure on teachers having to deal with the vagueness of this policy,” he continued.
He said he wanted to make a statement on how this policy would look in reality by wearing an outfit that would be okay under the new rules.
“Because I have no other way to describe my concerns about this policy, I’ll do an object lesson,” he said before he removed his clothes.
“Now, if you ask me, this is inappropriate for a board meeting. If you have a dress code policy that allows this in a classroom, it does not promote a safe classroom environment,” the irate father added.
However, the governing board president, Tiffany Schulz was not happy with the father’s criticism. She pointed out that the current rules unfairly targetted female students.
Another governing board member, Anna Van Hoek, however, seemed to agree with Latham’s point of view, saying that a modest dress code prepared students for the real world as they dressed in a way that would be expected of them in the workforce. She said the modest dress code was synonymous with “self-respect.”
“If we are prepping our children to be college and career-ready, then they need to learn to be able to have self-respect, and that doesn’t include showing off their body parts,” she said.
Latham later said to the media how upset he was, he shared, “The dress code that they wanted to get to is just basically a dress code for a public pool. Make sure that kids cover their underwear, and that’s about it.”
However, governing board president Schulz was less than impressed with these arguments, pointing out that this concerned female students more as they are the ones who normally wear crop tops and tank tops.
“We’re saying that they need to cover up because of the way it might make someone else feel, and that is wrong,” Schulz said.
She went on to say teachers should be more concerned with teaching rather than measuring their student’s shirts and making their female students uncomfortable as well. Amanda Wade, another governing board member, agreed with Schulz.
She said, “These are kids. They’re not at a job and I recognize at the end of the day this is the most job that they have but we need to allow freedom.”
Even with Latham’s dramatic opposition of the new dress code, the school board voted in favor of updating the dress code policy, winning by 3-2.
While Higley Unified School District has gone the route of a more modern and updated dress code, other school districts are going the other way. Mississippi’s Madison, Rankin, and Hinds County districts have all made crop tops prohibited and established that short and long-sleeved shirts must cover a student’s stomach. The new policy also says that pants should not have holes, and there are also certain skirt lengths that are not permitted.
Fathers can react pretty strongly when it comes to their children. Check out the story of what a father did when his daughter turned out to be a bully.
What are your thoughts about schools having dress codes? Let us know in the comments. Share with others to find out what they think as well!