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Duval Students To Protest ‘Outdated’ Dress Code

Raines High School
Bob Self
Florida Times-Union file photo


A group of Duval County high school students is planning a protest over the district’s dress code, saying it asks girls to sacrifice their comfort so boys don’t get distracted.


The protest comes after neighboring St. Johns County students made national news last school year when their pictures were edited to be more modest in yearbook photos, prompting a federal investigation. 


Stanton College Preparatory School sophomore Kennedy Murphy organized the Duval protest. 


“It’s Florida, and it’s really hot outside,” she said. “The dress code prevents students from dressing comfortably because it forces them to wear pants that are really long and forces them to constantly cover up. I’ve seen people get really hot and stuff because they’re forced to cover up.”


According to a petition backing dress code reform, which had garnered about 1,600 signatures at the time of this report, “The dress code targets girls and their bodies, to give teenage boys a distraction-free environment.”


TheDCPS dress code prohibits “halter-tops, tank tops, backless tops, tops with thin or no straps, or tops that show midriff or expose the body,” as well as “overly tight” clothes and clothing the school administration deems “distracting.”


Murphy is asking for changes to the dress code to permit students to expose their shoulders and up to 1 inch of their midriff, and for shorts or skirts that are shorter than the ends of the fingertips when the weather is hotter than 80 degrees.


The students’ protest is scheduled to take place outside the school district’s Southbank headquarters, before the Duval County school board meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. 


Contact Sydney Boles at, or on Twitter at@sydneyboles.


Sydney manages community engagement programs like WJCT News' Coronavirus Texting Service. Originally from the mountains of upstate New York, she relocated to Jacksonville from Kentucky, where she reported on Appalachia's coal industry.