Student athletes wearing their uniforms to school on game day is as much a trope of the typical American high school as inedible hot lunches, boring math teachers and getting stoned behind the field house. This might be changing soon, however, because a bunch of MEGA-NERD administrators are ruining everything by banning athletic uniforms during school hours...but only if for cheerleaders.
More and more high schools have begun prohibiting the wearing of cheer uniforms during the school day, saying that the uniforms violate dress codes by being sleeveless and including short skirts. Administrators also worry that allowing cheerleaders to wear their uniforms will create a double standard between the cheerleaders and other students.
Gary Schlereth, a principal at Countryside High School in Pinellas County, Florida, remarked, "A parent looks at their son or daughter getting 'dress coded' for wearing something short, then they look at the cheerleading uniform and they say, 'What about that?'"
Unsurprisingly, Cheerleaders and their parents are not happy about the new restrictions.
Christine Johnson, a mother of a Countryside varsity cheerleader, tells the Tampa Bay Times, "If it's an approved school uniform — which it was approved, by the administration, years ago — why is it out of dress code? And why can they wear it in front of thousands of people at a football field if they can't wear it on game day at school?"
I'm not going to defend these schools' dress codes because, honestly, any rule that requires people to keep their upper arms covered is overly conservative to me. Additionally, I personally don't think there's anything wrong with wearing a cheerleading uniform to class. That said, it's not fair for a school rule to apply to some and not to others. (This is why we should abolish ALL THE RULES.) If I were still in high school — and, thank god, I am not — I would be pissed if I weren't allowed to wear a tank top or short skirt, but cheerleaders were. Administrators should either loosen up their dress codes for everyone or hold everyone — boys, girls, athletes, non-athletes — to the same standard.
Pinellas schools say cheerleading uniforms are dress code violations [Tampa Bay Times]