On Wednesday morning, as a dozen Urbana Middle School eighth-graders prepared to enter school, most wore baggy yellow T-shirts that read in marker: “I am more than just a distraction.”
They were among students in two Frederick County Public Schools who claim their respective schools’ dress codes unfairly target girls and promote a culture of shaming them.
School district administration said the dress codes, which individual principals have wide latitude to determine in their respective schools, are in place to ensure a safe, nurturing learning environment, free of distractions.
Urbana Middle welcomed a new principal this year, Peter Daddone from Montgomery County Public Schools. Girls at the school, interviewed on Wednesday, said Daddone has taken an authoritarian approach with enforcing the dress code, making them wear ill-fitting yellow T-shirts to cover up dress code violations.