School says cheerleading uniforms violate dress code
SULLIVAN, OH - Too short for the classroom. That's what Black River School officials in Ashland County are saying about the skirts their cheerleaders wear.
"My daughter's school spirit is broken," said Heather Yourich.
Yourich is the mom of varsity cheerleader Macie Kendall, 17, who says the policy unfairly targets cheerleaders.
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"I think our knees are distracting to the guys education is what the school is getting at," said Kendall.
Martin Yoder the high school principal says an anonymous staff survey led to the new enforcement of the dress code policy. In the survey Yoder says staff members asked for the policy to be better defined. Parents disagree, with some circulating a petition working to reverse the policy, citing hot classrooms, as a reason why the skirts should be allowed.
"The schools are like 90 degrees because there is no air conditioning," said Yourich.
The student handbook states skirts or shorts must be at or below palm width held above the knee. Under the policy cheerleader uniform skirts are too short.
"I'm not looking to bully students I'm not looking to decide what's modest or what's not modest," said Yoder. "I'm not trying to have girls feel bad about themselves that's not our focus at all."
Yoder and the superintendent agree, telling Fox 8 the focus is getting students ready for their careers.
"What we're trying to do is allow our students to worry about the job here of being educated and not worried about what they are wearing to school or drawing attention to themselves," said superintendent Chris Clark.
Yoder says he is willing to work with parents to find new ways to enforce the dress code policy.