Scores of students gathered in the Edina High School commons Thursday to protest what they said were tighter restrictions in the school’s dress code.
In response, school district officials released a statement notifying parents that nothing had changed with regards to the school’s policy. But students said they believed otherwise.
“No one has banned leggings, cutout shoulders, skinny jeans, etc.,” Principal Andy Beaton said in the statement.
“Kids should dress comfortably, but appropriately, at school. If there is a concern about attire, we will speak with students individually.”
The school has had two instances where it spoke to female students about their attire, district officials said, adding that those instances could have led to the kerfuffle.
Senior Jasmine Brown said students believe school leaders are harshly enforcing the dress code. “We all kind of got together as our way of standing up to the new administration,” she said.
On Thursday, girls arrived in the commons area wearing leggings, skinny jeans and crop tops and boys wore red or pink shirts to express their support for the girls.
Photos on social media showed two boys wearing overalls with no shirts underneath. Students chanted and snapped photos. Some stood on tables.
Beaton was holding a meeting about the dress code with student leaders when the protest began.
“Students were redirected to class, but it is unfortunate that the rumor mill created an unnecessary disruption,” he said.
Students spread the word about the protest through fake Instagram accounts called “Finstagrams.”
On these private accounts, students feel free to post whatever they want, compared to the images they post on public profiles, which often have more followers.
District spokeswoman Susan Brott said students could have been affected by a number of changes this fall — including Beaton’s arrival and the addition of ninth-graders to the high school.
Beaton replaced Bruce Locklear as principal.