Skirts banned from Cathedral Catholic High School’s dress code
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After issuing “thousands of hours of detention” to students modifying the length of uniform skirts, Cathedral Catholic High School in the Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego has made the decision to ban skirts from its dress code, it was reported Tuesday.
Students at Cathedral Catholic High School learned about the new rules in an email from Principal Kevin Calkins.
In an email sent to parents and students, Calkins wrote that the dress code exists to foster a faith-based environment where students are focused on learning and not outward appearances.
“Male faculty feel uncomfortable addressing female students about the length of their skirts, even female faculty have expressed frustration with the ongoing challenge of dress code,” Calkins wrote in the email.
Female students will be allowed to wear pants, capri pants or Bermuda shorts. Male students have the option of wearing pants or shorts, according to the email.
Before the ban, female students were allowed to wear skirts that were not excessively tight or form fitting and that were no shorter than 3 inches from the top of the kneecap while standing upright, according to the school’s dress code.
In response to the ban, the students created a petition on change.org and as of Tuesday morning 2,669 people have signed the petition.
Students also planned a peaceful protest that was set to begin at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday in front of the school.
Cathedral Catholic High School is a private school located in Carmel Valley serving roughly 1,600 students in grades 9-12. The school charges an annual tuition of $18,500.
The school’s principal, Kevin Calkins complete email to all the students detailing the situation and the new dress code for the 2019-2020 school year
I am writing to communicate some changes to the school dress code starting with the 2019-2020 school year. The most significant change is that skirts will no longer be an option for girls.
Dress code is a perennial challenge. The dress code exists for at least three good reasons: to foster unity, to encourage modesty, and to minimize pressure to conform to particular styles or clothing brands. Basically we hope to foster a faith-based environment where students are focused on learning and not on outward appearances.
The main challenge with dress code has been the length of girls’ skirts. The school has made many attempts to rectify this challenge. The administration has worked with the Parent Association, has issued thousands of hours of detention, has made school-wide announcements (e.g., CCTV, orientations), and has worked with students one-on-one. None of this has had the desired effect of maintaining an overall modest skirt length in compliance with the dress code. The school heard feedback that part of the issue is that the skirts offered by Dennis Uniform did not fir the variety of girls’ bodies that attend Cathedral. We then decided to allow greater flexibility in where students could purchase skirts, so long as they followed the minimum guidelines. That did not work either. The administration eventually opted against strictly enforcing current dress code guidelines because of their negative effect that could have on the environment. Male faculty feel uncomfortable addressing female students about the length of their skirts, and even female faculty have expressed frustration with the ongoing challenge of dress code. There are challenges with boys too, but nothing that will require a change in options.
Instead of skirts, girls will be allowed to wear the following:
The color options for the above-mentioned are navy blue, black, or khaki. Denim fabric, leggings, and athletic wear are not allowed. Boys will also have the new color options for pants/shorts. In addition to holding boys more accountable to dress code guidelines (e.g., length of hair or facial hair), and implementing a restorative approach to dealing with dress code violations, there will be no other changes this year.
What do you think of the school’s decision to ban skirts from the dress code?