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November 20, 2018

More than 2 years in, still no resolution to N.C. charter school dress code lawsuit

November 2, 2018
Parents of a North Carolina charter school are fighting the dress code that insists girls wear skirts or dreses. (ideabug / Getty Images)

The North Carolina mother of a young girl is feeling years of stress over her daughter’s dress code.

Bonnie Peltier of Leland, N.C., sued Charter Day School in 2016 over the school’s rigid policy of not allowing girls to wear pants or shorts on campus.




Peltier’s daughter, who is identified only by the initials A.P., doesn’t enjoy wearing dresses and skirts, said the mom. Peltier also was puzzled why the school would force girls to wear clothes that make it more difficult to play and offer less protection amid chilly temperatures.

“When we go outside for recess, the boys in my class will sometimes play soccer or do flips and cartwheels,” said eighth-grader Keely Burks. “But I feel like I can’t because I’m wearing a skirt.”

After learning of the lawsuit, another mother of a Charter Day School student, joined as a plaintiff.

“They get public money. And they need to abide by the law, 47-year-old paramedic Erika Booth told Huffington Post. “They need to go ahead and treat girls equally. That’s it. That’s the bottom line.”

Baker Mitchell, the conservative businessman who founded the school, claimed the antiquated dress code instills a sense of “chivalry” in kids that leads to better behavior and manners — and more bizarrely, to help prevent school shootings.

The lawsuit is still winding its way through the judicial process, and Peltier’s daughter dutifully continues to wear school-sanctioned clothing.

“I think it teaches girls they’re second-class citizens,” said Booth. “They take second place to the boys. And it’s not right.”

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