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Teen Students Call Connecticut High School’s Dress Code ‘Body Shaming’

Grace And Patrice DiChristina Protest Greenwich High School's Policy

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GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Two sisters are fighting to change the dress code at their high school. They led a protest of students, who said they’re sick of being told to “cover up.”

Grace and Patrice DiChristina go to Greenwich High School and on Thursday were wearing the protest t-shirts they and dozens of other students wore to school to fight the dress code. They said it’s outdated and often targets girls who have larger body types. Patrice said she was told again last week she needed to “cover up” when she was showing her midriff.

“I was wearing a velvet shirt that came down to about here, but I was also wearing a high-waist black skirt, so it was probably only an inch of midriff showing and the black skirt went down to my knees,” Patrice told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu on Thursday.

“The next day I wore the same shirt in a different size and color and I didn’t get in trouble once. No one said anything was wrong with my outfit so that just shows since we have different body types we got in trouble for different things. It’s body shaming,” Grace added.

The sisters say body shaming is a huge self-esteem issue.

“If you’re told you can’t wear that, it’s like do I look bad in it? Am I supposed to feel bad in it? Then you start feeling bad,” Patrice said.

The school dress code says students need to dress “within reasonable limits” and it’s up to administrators to decide when that line is crossed. The school’s headmaster said with boys it’s normally offensive logos on their shirts.

“With girls it’s usually just covering up. There’s a little too much body showing and when it becomes a distraction, when it becomes disruptive to the educational process, we do it in a very private, calm way,” Chris Winters said.

Students said they are mixed on the issue.

“I think we should be able to like wear whatever we want,” one said.

“I’ve seen people come to school like half naked,” freshman Alexa Jaffe said. “It just puts out an image of people that they might not realize that it’s putting out of themselves.”

The sisters said they plan to meet with the headmaster in the coming weeks. They’re going to ask that a new committee be formed made up of students and staff to talk about a new dress code.

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