A California junior high school banned leggings
last week, claiming the tight-fitting pants can be "distracting" in the classroom.
"Leggings have become popular among girls and many are sheer," Emily Dunnagan, principal of Kenilworth Junior High in Petaluma, Calif., told ABCNews.com. "When girls bend in leggings the threads spread and that's really when it becomes a problem."
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Dunnagan called an assembly last week for all the female students — some 450 girls ages 12 to 14 years old — to go over the new amendment to the dress code. Students may wear leggings, Dunnagan said, but they must have a "school-appropriate length bottom" over them, such as shorts, a skirt, or a dress.
"The students asked specific questions about specific outfits and the message got lost in trying to clarify, 'Is this okay, is that okay?'" Dunnagan said.
The school followed up with an email and an automated voicemail sent to all parents detailing the new policy. Dunnagan said the response has been good overall, with only four infractions since the leggings rule was instituted last week.
If a student violates the dress code by wearing sheer leggings with nothing on top, they are given a pair of yellow gym shorts or a long "School is Cool" T-shirt to cover up with, Dunnagan said.
Dunnagan's dress code revision comes the same week that a different school made headlines for leggings
. A student at Rockville High School in Rockville, Md., was punished last week because her shirt, worn with leggings, did not reach to her fingertips, thus violating the school's "no leggings as pants" policy.
Lululemon, a high-end athletic gear retailer, battled controversy last month when it recalled its signature black leggings for being too sheer
, and then had customers who tried to return the pants bend over to prove they were too revealing.
"The truth of the matter is, the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over," Lululemon CEO Christine Day told the New York Post. "The pants passed all of the basic metric tests. It wasn't until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue."
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