N. Texas student fighting district's new dress code thinks dresses should be worn if 'appropriate'

Thursday, June 23, 2022
Texas school bans hoodies, dresses to 'improve student self-esteem'
The new dress code bans hoodie, dresses, skirts and skorts but many students, and their parents, are not OK with that. Here is what one 10th grader plans to do about it.

Clothing with hoods, skirts and skorts are now all banned for students in 5th grade and up at a Texas school district.

It's all part of a new dress code that officials said will help improve the learning environment, but it has one soon-to-be sophomore fighting back.

In a few weeks, Brooklynn Hollaman will dig through her closet to look for clothes to wear on her first day of 10th grade.

"We were allowed to wear dresses and skirts and skorts and everything like that," said Brooklynn.

But, this fall, the Forney high schooler will have to limit what she can and cannot wear.

Forney Independent School District is updating its dress code for the upcoming school year. The district has a seven-page document with every detail, but the most notable changes include:

  • No clothing, including jackets and coats, with hoods can be worn inside
  • No dresses, skirts and skorts can be worn by 5th graders or older
  • Pre-Kindergarten through 4th graders are still allowed to wear these clothing items

"I even have a little sister that can't wear skirts anymore," Brooklynn said.

In a statement, Forney ISD wrote the dress code is meant to "improve student self-esteem, bridge socio-economic differences among student, and promote positive behavior, thereby enhancing school safety and improving the learning environment."

"I think people should be able to wear them as long as they're appropriate," Brooklynn said.

Students like her are not OK with it.

So, Brooklynn started a petition, already gathering thousands of signatures against the new dress code.

"A young lady should be able to choose what she wears. They shouldn't be forced to wear pants," said Brooklynn's dad, Derick Hollaman.

Brooklynn's parents fully support her.

Derick said he spoke to the district to find out why.

"I was told that basically, hoodies were a safety issue that kids wouldn't take the hoods off their head. When I asked regarding the dresses, I was told that they were trying to teach professionalism," Derick said.

The Hollaman family disagrees with the reasoning.

"I don't think adding this extra dress code is going to help the situation at all," said mother Amy.

On Monday, Brooklyn hopes to appeal to the school board and revert the dress code to what it was before.

"We got the momentum going," she said.

The Forney ISD superintendent has not been available for an interview.