North Carolina school asks Supreme Court to review dress code ruling

LELAND, North Carolina — A North Carolina charter school is asking 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 United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit found that the dress code at Charter Day School in Leland violated the equal protection rights of female students. The majority of the court found that since public charter schools receive public funds, they are “state actors” and subject to the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

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 that it is not a government-run entity, The StarNews reported.

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

“This decision undoes the central feature of charter schools by treating their private operators as the constitutional equivalent of public schools,” school officials said.

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

School founder Baker Mitchell said the dress code was intended to create a “code of conduct where women are treated, they are seen as a fragile vessel that men are expected to care for and honor”. For now, the dress code has been changed to allow girls to wear pants as per the court ruling.

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