School district approves dress code ban against ripped jeans and torn and tattered clothing

Enjoy those fashionably distressed jeans while you can, kids. Come this fall, they’ll be banned from at least one school district.

As Today’s News Herald in Lake Havasu, Ariz., reports, the Lake Havasu Unified School District’s governing board voted this week to implement a new dress code that will forbid students from wearing clothing that is “torn, tattered, or frayed.” That includes jeans, shorts, and pants that have holes or rips.

Students will no longer be able to wear jeans like these at one school district. (Photo: Aleksander Rubtsov/Getty Images)

Officials said that the dress code, which will take effect when the new school year begins in August, will require a more professional look from students. According to the Associated Press, however, some students and their parents have balked at the ban, calling it an overreach that has little to do with education.

“I don’t think wearing jeans like that have any impression on the ability and want to learn,” one commenter said. “That is all about the individual.”

The issue also raises a point about socioeconomics: Will students whose clothing is threadbare or distressed not by design, but because their family can’t afford to fix or replace it, be unfairly targeted?

The ruling comes about a month after Canadian high school students protested after being told to change out of their ripped jeans. And last fall, Washington state students and their parents complained about a similar crackdown, arguing that a frayed pants knee does not reveal an inappropriate amount of skin.

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