A high school senior in Arkansas is attempting to push school officials to walk back its regulations on what it reportedly deems to be inappropriate clothing.
Laura Orsi, of Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, said she got the idea to start her “Pass the Skirt” movement after her friend Clara Mitchell was called out for coming to school in a skirt the administrators deemed to be “too short.”
According to Orsi, who shared the story to Facebook, Mitchell arrived to school that day for a science symposium, but was soon pulled aside by school officials “who repeatedly made her turn around to ‘look at the back,’ and easily caused her a panic attack, which they then accused her of faking.”
Mitchell was then instructed to call her parents and ask for a change of clothes, she told Today, but argued that they would not arrive in time for the symposium, which Mitchell was told she would not be able to attend in the skirt.
Mitchell’s father eventually arrived with a change of clothes, as did Orsi’s father, after Orsi asked him to come to her friend’s aid.
The next day, Orsi says she deliberately arrived to school wearing the very same skirt Mitchell wore the day before — hiked up even higher — but wasn’t dress-coded.
Orsi further alleges that the school’s current regulations might make it harder for taller girls to find clothing that meets the requirements. She also said on Instagram that she believes the administration “tends to target minority girls over white girls when it comes to dress code violations.”
"I feel like girls are often looked at like a distraction because of this dress code and that's not fair because we're more than that,” Orsi told THV11.
Now, Orsi is campaigning for changes to the dress code, and has launched a website and Instagram page called “Pass the Skirt,” where other students can submit their own stories of dress code violations or just lend support.
Randy Rutherford, the principal of Parkview, later told THV11 that the current dress code is “not intended to be discriminatory,” but welcomes students’ suggestions for student-handbook revisions in the spring.
“We were made aware of a matter related to the dress code that conflicts with our LRSD Student Handbook. It is now a topic on social media. Our dress code is outlined on page 8 of the handbook and is a district policy matter, not intended to be discriminatory in nature. As you are aware, our school is one of the most inclusive campuses in the state. However, we do respect student voices and welcome them to participate in, and contribute ideas to propose changes to the Student Handbook Committee this Spring. We will be following up with you soon to remind you of the invitation for students to participate.“
Orsi has since thanked her supporters via social media.
Orsi also tells Fox News that the response from both students and staff alike has been "great."
"There are so many young girls, parents, and teachers who feel inspired," Orsi said. "A lot of my peers are shocked about how far this has all gone, but they’re excited. My school administrators, although they still have to enforce the rules, are on board, OK with us protesting, and just want us to have an educational environment we are safe and happy in."