Getty images
Getty images

It started with good intentions.

Some students—or, "bigger girls," as one school board member explained—in North Carolina's New Hanover County School System had reportedly been teased for wearing tight pants. This is the kind of thing that, while nothing new, is still extremely shitty.

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School officials looked into possible solutions to prevent further instances of trouser-teasing and reached out for ideas. "We got some input from some of our principals asking for some support," spokesperson Valita Quattlebaum told CNN. "And the board decided to explore a policy that would help them.

That policy? Ban the pants.

In a proposed update to the school system's dress code, the district board writes that, "No leggings, 'skinny jeans' or other excessively tight fitting pants [may be worn] unless covered by a top or dress to the appropriate length. (The length of the top or dress shall cover the posterior area in its entirety.)"

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In other words: students would be officially tasked with covering their asses. Those found in violation of the proposed policy risk being forced to change clothes, or even face an out-of-school suspension.

If targeting students for the clothes they wear—rather than for being terrible to one another—sounds like an exercise in both body- and victim-shaming, that's because it is. It’s an irony not lost on the students, who clapped back en masse when asked by the district for their thoughts on the proposed policy.

Responses ranged from memes:

Xavier_Smith_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_https___t_co_GIAPHQUL45_
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To micro-essays:

New_Hanover_Co_Sch_on_Twitter___Students__What_do_you_think_about_changes_made_to_district_s_Student_Dress_Policy__https___t_co_jmEoe6aFpa__policy8520_
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New_Hanover_Co_Sch_on_Twitter___Students__What_do_you_think_about_changes_made_to_district_s_Student_Dress_Policy__https___t_co_jmEoe6aFpa__policy8520_
New_Hanover_Co_Sch_on_Twitter___Students__What_do_you_think_about_changes_made_to_district_s_Student_Dress_Policy__https___t_co_jmEoe6aFpa__policy8520_
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Madi_Barrows_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_https___t_co_I9De0gNN7f_

Some pointed out the policy's fashion anachronism:

Madison_Spratley_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_its_2_much_2_ask_of_girls_2_dress_different_than_the_social_norms_unless_we_throwin_it_back_to_2000_https___t_co_OI7cCtRe5j_
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While others hammered the district for the policy's implied sexism:

New_Hanover_Co_Sch_on_Twitter___Students__What_do_you_think_about_changes_made_to_district_s_Student_Dress_Policy__https___t_co_jmEoe6aFpa__policy8520_
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Caitlin_Hankins_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_it_s_funny_because_in_college_the_girls_come_to_class_in_leggings__shorts___tank_tops___yet_the_boys_still_manage_to_learn__

Many asked the same, predictably inevitable question:

toni_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_what_the_heck_am_I_supposed_to_wear_to_school__
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Amber_Ray_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_what_am_I_supposed_to_wear_to_school____Curtains____
caroline_cahill_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_what_am_I_supposed_to_wear___
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tay_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_do_you_want_us_to_wear_brown_paper_sacks_or__

It wasn't all students responding, either. A number of parents chimed in to voice their frustrations:

Erin_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_As_a_parent_I_think_this_is_ridiculous__
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Stacey_Boswell_on_Twitter____NewHanoverCoSch_my_child_was_bullied_while_attending___she_was_the_one_addressed__You_re_not_teaching_anyone_to_be_responsible_adults__
chrisfurner_on_Twitter____Policy8520_NHC_parent_here__if_bullying_is_the_impetus__do_a_better_job_of_teaching_the_kids_to_be_nice__Don_t_tell_them_how_to_dress__
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After the deluge of criticism, the school system thanked everyone for their feedback, tweeting that "responsible comments" will be shared with the board.

New_Hanover_Co_Sch_on_Twitter___Students__Thank_you_for_your_feedback_on_proposed_changes_to_Student_Dress_Code__policy8520__Responsible_comments_will_be_shared_w_Board__
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And, likely in reference to the nuclear winter-levels of shade being thrown their way, quickly followed their thanks with a warning:

New_Hanover_Co_Sch_on_Twitter___Remember__everything_said_done_electronically_can_potentially_be_tracked_forever__Your_future_boss__college__kids_can_search_your_footprint__
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According to the New Hanover County Schools' website, the Board of Education's Policy Committee is scheduled to meet on June 1st.

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