Because they were wearing leggings, two teenage girls were barred from a United Airlines flight earlier this week. They weren’t allowed to board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis due to the airline’s policy prohibiting passengers using employee travel passes from wearing spandex or Lycra pants such as leggings, according to a United spokesman.
Tens of thousands of social media users have responded to the policy, a majority negatively.
United made clear that regularly ticketed passengers can wear leggings, but the airline requires pass travelers to adhere to a dress code as they may be viewed as representing the company, according to the company.
Dress and appearance codes regularly cause friction in public, at workplaces and schools. Here are some recent examples locally and from across the country.
Partisan presidential shirts: Parents questioned a decision made last Election Day by the principal at Troy Christian schools who asked students wearing T-shirts supporting political candidates to turn them inside out. Parents at the time who contacted this news organization said they were upset because, prior to Nov. 8, students were permitted to wear T-shirts supporting political candidates.
Kindergartener with Mohawk sent home: In 2013, a Springfield Twp. kindergartener with a new, spiked haircut was sent home from a local elementary school for violating the district’s dress code. Keshia Castle was told her then 5-year-old son, Ethan Clos, couldn’t come back to Reid Elementary School until he got rid of his Mohawk, a haircut in which the head is shaved on the sides and only a strip of hair is left on top and down the middle of the scalp. The superintendent said the hairstyle was a distraction for students and violated district rules.
Rebel buckle: School officials Butler and Warren counties said apparel bearing the Confederate flag isn’t specifically banned on school grounds, but their dress code policies do prohibit students from wearing items that could be construed as offensive or disruptive to the educational process. In 2014, a student at Monroe High School was called into the principal’s office after wearing a Confederate flag belt buckle. The student voluntarily removed the buckle.
Shade apart: In 2015, a New Jersey girl was suspended on day from school for wearing the wrong shade of green, her New Jersey mother claimed. The 8-year-old’s mother said the principal stated her daughter violated the school dress code because the only colors of shirts and blouses allowed at the school are dark green, navy blue and white as stated in the school’s official dress code. The girl’s shirt was Kelly green.
Fired up over shirt: In 2014. Shane Kinney, 16, was wearing a sweatshirt that said, “Protected by Smith and Wesson.” Because the shirt had a gun on it, he’d been in trouble before for wearing it to school, he told WBEN in Buffalo, N.Y. But this time when he was told to take remove the sweatshirt he had an NRA T-shirt underneath that said, “2nd AMENDMENT Shall not be Infringed,” and “Live Free or Die,” highlighted by crossed rifles. The T- shirt also didn’t meet the school’s dress code, Kinney was told.
Outlawing saggy pants: A Mississippi lawmaker wants people to pull their pants up or suffer consequences. Tom Weathersby, a Republican serving in the state’s House of Representatives, proposed a new law this year that could lead to fines up to $1,000 and psychological and social counseling for those wearing “sagging” pants.
Exposing belly button, then bra: In 2015, security guards at Six Flags Over Georgia told Gina Rivera she wouldn’t be admitted because the shirt she was wearing didn’t cover her midriff. The guards escorted Rivera and her husband Michael to a park store where she picked out another shirt security said was allowable, but Rivera said the new shirt purchased at their expense ended up showing too much of her bra.
Picture day controversy: A sophomore in Buckeye, Ariz. said she was targeted unfairly last year when asked to remove a Black Lives Matter shirt on picture day, protesting that just the day before another student wore a shirt with the Confederate flag to class. Mariah Havard said the school's principal cited the school dress code for why she was asked to change her shirt. Two days later, the school announced both Confederate flag and Black Lives Matter shirts were banned from school.
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