Dallas School Board Changes Dress Code to Accommodate Obesity

The Dallas School Board has changed their dress code so students no longer have to tuck in their shirts. This change has been put in place so that attention is not drawn to overweight students who may not be able to accommodate the dress code regulations, reports Ryan Grenoble at the Huffington Post.

The DISD board has had to keep on top of trends in order to keep the dress code up to date. Unfortunately, obesity seems to be one of the biggest trends in Texas:

 “A survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control in 2011 found 16 percent of Texas high school students were obese, making it one of the most overweight in the nation, just behind Alabama, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.”

The previous rule requiring students to tuck in their shirts into their pants, shorts, or skirts did not accommodate overweight students who were physically unable to properly tuck in their shirts. The Dallas school board was afraid that this would cause unwanted, negative attention and lead to ridicule for overweight students.

“In a 2010 report, The Obesity Action Coalition found 58 percent of overweight high school boys experienced daily bullying as a result of their size, with 63 percent of girls reporting the same.”

Carla Wade of WFAA found that parents also agree that students should not have to tuck in their shirts:

““Because that way, people can’t make fun of each other about what they are wearing,” said Ana Zetina, who was waiting to pick up a sibling outside Dallas’ Woodrow Wilson High School on Friday.”

The Dallas School Board felt embarrasment talking about the rule and struggled with how to discuss the issue in an open, honest and transparent manner. Board President used the word ‘healthiness’ instead of overweight:

 “Now, I am always one to say tuck in your shirts, but it was brought to my attention that if you are, uh healthy, tucking in your shirt shows your healthiness. … For a middle-school student, it could be a self-esteem issue if they are made to tuck in their shirt, because if they wear it loose, their healthiness might not show as much.”

Other board members used the word ‘fluffy’ instead of ‘healthy’ in the meeting. Clearly, none of the members seemed comfortable addressing the issue in a straightforward manner. According to NBC local affiliate WOAI, the board members never used the words “fat” or “obese”.

Students were asked their thoughts at Wilson High School and they were much more straight forward.

“In all respect,” Ruth Blaker said, “the tucked-in shirt makes the muffin top a little more accentuated.”

“It’s embarrassing for some kids who are heavier-set,” Jake Whitten said.

None of the students interviewed had their shirts tucked in.