Students fighting back over 'strict' dress code

Posted at 6:06 AM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 06:06:27-04

A new dress code at one Polk County school has students fighting back against stricter rules on what they can wear.

Under the new policy at Lake Region High School in Winter Haven, students must wear shorts that cover their knees. They also can't wear any shirts that show their collarbone. Leggings, joggers, and rolled up jeans are also off limits.

Students who violate the policy must go to detention for the day until they change.

"It's ridiculous," said Jelissa Ulloa, a 10th grade student. "We're wearing stuff like mid-thigh and lower and we are still getting dress coded."

It's not just the girls, either. Guys are also getting in trouble for wearing gym shorts, regardless of the length.

"It's so stupid. I want to look comfortable in school," said Juliany Agudelo, 10th grade student.

One student got so fed up this week, she started a petition on after spending the entire day in detention for wearing shorts against the policy. Within 24 hours, the petition was just shy of 1,000 signatures.

"I'd say that's crossing the line," said Pam Willis, mother of one of the girls' who is championing the cause. "I think they're sending the wrong message to both the girls and the boys."

In a statement, the school district said students were given a two week grace period to get used to the new policy.

Administrators started enforcing it on September 9th.

On Friday, ABC Action News learned that as many as 30 students served detention.

"No other high school. Not Winter Haven, not Auburndale. Lake Region. It's real upsetting," said Monica Rodriguez, one of many students who received detention for what they wore to school.