NC School Asks Supreme Court To Revise Dress Code Ruling

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LELAND, NC (TBEN) — A charter school in North Carolina has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider an appeals court ruling that the school violated the constitutional rights of female students by requiring them to wear skirts.

In June, a majority of the full US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the dress code at Charter Day School in Leland violated the equal protection rights of female students. The majority of the court concluded that since public charter schools receive public funds, they are “state actors” and are subject to the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

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In its petition, the school asks the Supreme Court to “review and reverse” the 4th Circuit’s decision, arguing that it is a private school that receives public funding through its charter, and therefore it is not approved by the government-run entity, The StarNews reported.

School officials said in a press release Monday that the decision threatens the model.

“This holding company undoes the central feature of charter schools by treating their private operators as the constitutional equivalent of government-run schools,” school officials said.

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North Carolina state law protects charter schools as independent institutions that are exempt from rules and regulations that apply to public school districts, the school argued.

The school’s founder, Baker Mitchell, has said the dress code was intended to create a “code of conduct in which women are treated, they are viewed as a fragile vessel that men are expected to nurture and honor.” For the time being, the dress code has been changed so that girls are allowed to wear trousers in line with the court ruling.

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