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New dress code raises controversy amongst Chatham students

New dress code raises controversy amongst Chatham students. (WICS)

Thousands of students in central Illinois are now back in class for the start of the new year, and for students in Chatham, there are a few controversial changes.

A new dress code is now in effect.

Students who wear yoga pants or stretchy leggings will have to wear shirts that cover their back side.


A group of students has started a petition against the new changes claiming it's sexist and discriminating against women.

Glenwood senior Claire Farnsworth says concealing a young woman's physique sends the message that their body is a problem.


The new principal, Russ Tepen, says the rule change was made before he started.

Principal Tepen says "essentially the committee had landed on the fact that we wanted kids to represent themselves in a more business-like manner. So, the new part of the policies just pretty well states as far as dress code goes that males and females, just make sure that you are in professional dress and representing yourself in the best way that you possibly can because if we look good, we feel good"

Nearly 2,000 students have signed the petition.

Farnsworth plans to bring her concerns to the District 5 School Board meeting on August 29.

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