Dave Adney, the principal of Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minn., has gained a lot of attention for an email he sent to the parents of his students on Nov. 12 suggesting they support his “goal of keeping things covered up.”
The email was intended to alert parents to a recent wardrobe issue the school has been dealing with during the colder months: Female students were wearing tight, spandex leggings.
“As the weather gets colder we have noticed a fashion trend with our young women,” read Adney’s email. “Many of them choose to wear leggings usually made of spandex or another form of tight fitting material. In past years this has not been a major problem since fashion norms called for a long sweatshirt, jersey or sweater to be worn in conjunction with the leggings. This fall another pattern has emerged and we are requesting parent support.”
Janet Swiecichowski, the executive director for communications with Minnetonka Public Schools, said the principal’s email was “nothing out of the blue” because he often communicates with the parents. But Swiecichowski said this one, in particular, has been receiving a lot of positive reinforcement.
“It is a cyclical communication that the principal does. As seasons change, we talk about the different expectations for student dress,” Swiecichowski told ABCNews.com. “As winter was coming around, we usually see students in longer sweaters and leggings. This year, they seem to be wearing shorter tops.”
And it’s the shorter tops paired with the leggings that are really becoming the problem.
“This new trend doesn’t seem right, it’s troubling,” Adney told the Star Tribune. “Cover your butts up – I’m just going to say it straight up. We’re seeing too much.”
The leggings are not officially banned, as of now, but the principal is urging students to practice modesty when planning their outfits.
“There is no ban,” Swiecichowski said. “The email was intended to suggest to parents to talk to your teens about how they’re dressing for school – what you think is appropriate – and that modesty is usually a good fall-back. When in doubt, go modest.”
Adney’s email concluded, “Some of our girls have chosen to wear t-shirts with the leggings, thus exposing more leg and backside area. This can be highly distracting for other students and I am asking your assistance. If your daughters choose to wear leggings or other tight fitting clothing please support our goal of keeping things covered up. We encourage students to dress modestly and this trend is definitely a move away from our general expectations.”
Minnetonka High School is not the only one cracking down on clothing. Last year, Pennsylvania’s Catasauqua Area School District banned skinny jeans, leggings, ripped pants, low-cut tops and hooded sweatshirts.