Colorado Springs students petition pants policy at school

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A petition is going around James Irwin Charter High School. Some students want to revise the dress code to be more open-minded about girls’ body types.

“They felt humiliated, and they felt discriminated, and they felt objectified,” said 17-year-old Hanna Fisher, a junior at JICHS and who started the petition.

It comes after students say girls were taken out of their classrooms and told to stand in two lines down the hall.

“They had us individually walk through the line and then they would grab the women by their pants without their permission. They never talked to parents before this at all,” Fisher said.

Then students said half of all girls in the school of nearly 500 were told to get new pants.

The reason? Their pants are too tight and distracting to boys.

“To me it’s kind of absurd. If you’re a male, and you’re in class, and you’re truly dedicated to your academics, you’re not going to be distracted by some tight pants right next to you,” said 18-year-old Victor Gonzalez, a senior at JICHS.

“They’re encouraging rape culture, and it’s rude towards the boys in a sense that you’re seeing them as animals thinking that they can’t control themselves. And the fact that they feel like they need to tell us about our pants. Why does it matter if the boys are looking at my pants? Like, is it a danger to me?” Fisher said.

Students said they’re now being told where to shop, adding they’re being told to stop shopping at the teens section, and go to the women’s professional section. And if you grab a handful of your pants from your thigh and it snaps back, you can’t wear it.

“As someone who’s 5 feet, barely getting to 100 pounds, it’s a struggle to fit in teen pants. So, if I try to fit in women clothing, that will just fall down real quick,” said 18-year-old Taty Rodriguez, a senior at JICHS.

The boys said it felt like an insult.

“They basically regarded the entire boy population at our school as like, perverts,” Gonzalez said.

Fisher’s mother said she encouraged her daughter to start a petition, especially since school leaders advised it.

“That was even a suggestion from the principal at that point. He was the one who said that if you’re not liking it, then write a petition. Have students sign it, then go to the board,” Asa Fisher said.

FOX21 spoke to Jonathan Berg, the CEO of James Irwin Charter Schools. He said this is a change in dress code enforcement and it’s a policy for both boys and girls.

He said the purpose of the meetings with the girls was to remind them that they must follow the dress code, as some were starting to slip. Berg said he’s looked at security footage from the school and he did not see what students claimed to have happened, but will continue to look into it.

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