5th grader challenges dress code calling leggings a 'distraction'

One 5th grader is taking a stand against public schools policing young girls' wardrobe; specifically, leggings.

ATLANTA -- A determined 5th grade student is challenging Atlanta Public Schools to update its 10-year-old dress code after she said it is unfair for the policy to call leggings "a distraction."

Falyn Handley, 10, is a Springdale Park Elementary School 5th grader. She's done research and created a presentation for the school board in order to spark change. She's even started a petition to get the dress code updated.

"Leggings are comfortable, affordable and popular. The current APS dress code does not allow leggings because they are 'a distraction'," she wrote.

The petition has already garnered more than 1,000 of its 1,500-signature goal.

"Girls should not be pulled out of class or embarrassed for wearing leggings," which Handley said is happening.

"Boys and girls should be able to manage their 'distractions' and reactions," the 5th grader continued. "I am not a distraction, and me wearing leggings is not a distraction. The world is full of distractions, but how you react to situations is YOUR problem."

11Alive reached out to Atlanta Public Schools for a comment. A spokesperson for the district said they are aware of the petition calling for the changes. According to a statement, the district said they "have been working with students and other stakeholders" to revise the dress code so it works for students, parents, teachers and administrators."

Monday night, the school board heard public comment on the debate. APS said it will take the feedback and review the proposed changes to the student dress code at their Dec 6. meeting. If any changes were made, they would likely come next year.

"Board Members have made it a priority to update the policy, which has not been changed in 10 years," the statement said. "APS is committed to ensuring that the lines of communication remain open and the thoughts and opinions of students continue to be heard and respected, on this issue and others."

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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