Cheerleaders deal with uniform issues at Pinellas schools

By Tara Evans, Producer, tevans@wkmg.com
Published On: Aug 28 2013 03:20:34 PM EDT
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -

Schools across Pinellas County are cracking down on dress code violations, even on school-issued uniforms. Now, cheerleaders are being told they are no longer allowed to wear their uniforms to class on game days.

"In the past, they were allowed to wear them but, even my daughter who graduated a couple years ago from Northeast High, was not allowed to wear her uniform to class -- only on the field," said mom, Mary Cox. "I cannot believe this is still an issue at our schools."

Pinellas County Schools Public Information Officer Melanie Marquez Parra said there is a school-wide policy, but each principal can modify that dress code policy.

"Clearwater High School was the first to modify the dress code last year, and their staff found it to be successful, so now other schools are also stepping up dress code enforcement," said Marquez Parra.

Parra said Countryside High School is still deciding how to handle the "double standard."

Parents told Local 6 sister station WTSP-TV in Tampa that some girls are not wearing long enough skirts and complained that the cheerleaders get to wear short skirts above their mid-thigh. That's the length skirts and dresses are supposed to be.

Gibbs High School cheerleaders are not allowed to wear the skirts to class. Its principal said they are required to wear blue jeans. Other schools' cheerleaders have to wear a shirt that covers their arms underneath their cheer uniform.

"If you have a school-issued uniform that is a swimsuit for the swim team or a wrestling uniform, you aren't allowed to wear that to class," said Parra.

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