A federal judge struck down a policy that required girls in a school in North Carolina to wear skirts as part of their uniform.
US District Judge Malcolm Harris wrote in his ruling that the skirts requirement causes the girls to experience a burden the boys do not experience, and it’s simply because they are female.
The ACLU originally filed the lawsuit against Charter Day School in Leland in 2016 on behalf of three students aged 5, 10, and 14.
Keely Burks, the oldest of the students, wrote in a post on the ACLU website that she created a petition to ask her school to change its policy that says girls have to wear skirts to school or risk being penalized.
The lawsuit argued that the skirts requirement was a distraction from academics and required girls to be uncomfortable and cold.
The school, however, claimed that the skirts and other policies in the school that required “chivalry” were a necessary part in order to instill traditional values and establish discipline.
Students that did not comply with the dress code could be penalized in several ways, including calling their parents, removing them from class, and even expulsion.
The judge found no connection between the school’s stated goal and the requirement to wear skirts, and he further wrote that the girls in the school are subject to a specific clothing requirement that required them to be uncomfortable and causes them to be overly focused on how they are sitting, which distracts them from learning.
It also subjects them to cold temperatures, and defendants have offered no evidence of any comparable burden on the boys in the school.