Published August 27, 2013
Several Florida high schools are restricting or even banning their own cheerleading uniforms -- saying the skimpy skirts violate dress codes.
High schools in Pinellas County are not allowing cheerleaders to wear their uniforms during the school day because of the outfits' short skirt and sleeveless top, TampaBayTimes.com reported. For generations, cheerleaders have donned their gear during the school day for pep rallies before Friday night football games.
"If it's an approved school uniform -- which it was approved, by the administration, years ago -- why is it out of dress code?" Christine Johnson, whose daughter is a junior on Countryside's varsity squad, told TampaBayTimes.com. "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?"
Countryside Principal Gary Schlereth said he is working with the team to find a compromise. The school's administration reportedly asked the girls to order jackets to cover their arms.
Schlereth told TampaBayTimes.com that the issue of skirt length "really came to light" during the first football game of the season on Aug. 23.
"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?' " Schlereth told the website.
Schlereth said that although the uniforms were previously considered "spirit wear" in the past, he thought it was no longer fair.
At other schools in the county, cheerleaders are only allowed to wear their tops to school if they wear T-shirts under them. The skirts are not allowed. Cheerleaders at St. Petersburg High School have multiple sets of skirts, including a longer one for class.