Dad strips down to tank top and Daisy Dukes to make a point about school's dress code policy

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By stefan armitage

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An Arizona dad dramatically stripped down to a crop top and Daisy Dukes during a school board meeting. His intention? To voice a loud and clear protest against the Higley Unified School District's decision to relax dress code rules for students.

Ira Latham, a 39-year-old father-of-four, caught attendees off guard during the meeting held in Gilbert, Arizona. Latham wasn't just making a statement for his own children - he feels he was speaking up for every student in the district.

The school's dress code hadn't been addressed since 2001, and the school is reportedly opting for a more relaxed policy, per 12News.

In an attempt to illustrate his concerns, Latham removed his shirt to reveal a snug-fitting black crop top paired with barely-there Daisy Dukes, both of which he claimed to have purchased from a thrift store. "Under the proposed policy, this would be appropriate in a classroom," Latham commented, drawing attention to the stark contrast between the previous and proposed dress codes.

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The dad took drastic measures to put his point across. Credit: AZ Family

As reported by the Daily Mail, previously, students were prohibited from exposing their chest, abdomen, or midriff. However, the revised policy simply stipulates that students should not expose their underwear.

Latham, a father to three sons in 7th, 5th, and 4th grades and a daughter in 2nd grade, remarked: "The dress code that they wanted to get to is just basically a dress code for a public pool. Make sure that kids cover their underwear and that’s about it."

He stressed his position further by noting the lack of guidance in the new policy, arguing: "Before they had some guidance, but now they have no guidance. It’s just, ‘Kids, cover your underwear’."

Yet, Latham's impassioned protest didn't seem to sway the board's decision.

Despite his daring demonstration, they chose to move forward with the more lenient dress code, voting 3-2 in its favor. Latham believes the updated policy could lead to distractions in the classroom and potentially drive some parents to reconsider their schooling choices for their kids. However, he did not elucidate who he believed would be distracted by the students' attire.

"These are my babies, these are my kids. I'm concerned about them," the concerned father told 12News.

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The board later voted 3-2 in favor of the policy. Credit: AZ Family

One board member who voted in favor of the policy later said in a statement, per AZ Family News: "It is the parents and family's choice and as long as it doesn't disrupt the school day, it would be a non-issue."

"We want teachers to be teaching and not having to waste time measuring a girl's shirt or making a girl feel uncomfortable," they continued.

Interestingly, the incident spurred various reactions online. One X user sharply criticized Latham, stating: "Leave teenage girls alone Ira Latham! How embarrassing for you. Not only do these policies target girls, they target certain body types and races."

This points to a larger, pressing issue: the disproportionate focus on girls' attire and the subsequent sexualization and targeting they face because of dress codes.

However, others lauded Latham's actions, with one X user writing: "We need more brave dads like Ira!"

While opinions about Latham's method of protest might be divided, his actions undeniably ignited a conversation about the broader implications of school dress codes and the potential biases therein.

Featured image credit: georgeclerk / Getty

Dad strips down to tank top and Daisy Dukes to make a point about school's dress code policy

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

An Arizona dad dramatically stripped down to a crop top and Daisy Dukes during a school board meeting. His intention? To voice a loud and clear protest against the Higley Unified School District's decision to relax dress code rules for students.

Ira Latham, a 39-year-old father-of-four, caught attendees off guard during the meeting held in Gilbert, Arizona. Latham wasn't just making a statement for his own children - he feels he was speaking up for every student in the district.

The school's dress code hadn't been addressed since 2001, and the school is reportedly opting for a more relaxed policy, per 12News.

In an attempt to illustrate his concerns, Latham removed his shirt to reveal a snug-fitting black crop top paired with barely-there Daisy Dukes, both of which he claimed to have purchased from a thrift store. "Under the proposed policy, this would be appropriate in a classroom," Latham commented, drawing attention to the stark contrast between the previous and proposed dress codes.

size-large wp-image-1263232459
The dad took drastic measures to put his point across. Credit: AZ Family

As reported by the Daily Mail, previously, students were prohibited from exposing their chest, abdomen, or midriff. However, the revised policy simply stipulates that students should not expose their underwear.

Latham, a father to three sons in 7th, 5th, and 4th grades and a daughter in 2nd grade, remarked: "The dress code that they wanted to get to is just basically a dress code for a public pool. Make sure that kids cover their underwear and that’s about it."

He stressed his position further by noting the lack of guidance in the new policy, arguing: "Before they had some guidance, but now they have no guidance. It’s just, ‘Kids, cover your underwear’."

Yet, Latham's impassioned protest didn't seem to sway the board's decision.

Despite his daring demonstration, they chose to move forward with the more lenient dress code, voting 3-2 in its favor. Latham believes the updated policy could lead to distractions in the classroom and potentially drive some parents to reconsider their schooling choices for their kids. However, he did not elucidate who he believed would be distracted by the students' attire.

"These are my babies, these are my kids. I'm concerned about them," the concerned father told 12News.

size-large wp-image-1263232460
The board later voted 3-2 in favor of the policy. Credit: AZ Family

One board member who voted in favor of the policy later said in a statement, per AZ Family News: "It is the parents and family's choice and as long as it doesn't disrupt the school day, it would be a non-issue."

"We want teachers to be teaching and not having to waste time measuring a girl's shirt or making a girl feel uncomfortable," they continued.

Interestingly, the incident spurred various reactions online. One X user sharply criticized Latham, stating: "Leave teenage girls alone Ira Latham! How embarrassing for you. Not only do these policies target girls, they target certain body types and races."

This points to a larger, pressing issue: the disproportionate focus on girls' attire and the subsequent sexualization and targeting they face because of dress codes.

However, others lauded Latham's actions, with one X user writing: "We need more brave dads like Ira!"

While opinions about Latham's method of protest might be divided, his actions undeniably ignited a conversation about the broader implications of school dress codes and the potential biases therein.

Featured image credit: georgeclerk / Getty