By Wren Hagge
CBS (CHICAGO) — A senior at Maine South High School in Park Ridge successfully campaigned to have her photo accepted for the yearbook after being notified the sweater she was wearing in the photo was not compliant with the school’s dress code.
On Monday, HR Imaging Partners, the studio tasked with taking photos for the yearbook, sent an email to 17-year-old Grace Goble, informing her that the yellow, off-the-shoulder sweater she was wearing in her photo violates the school dress code. The company suggested new dates to retake the photos.
The Maine South dress code states: “Students are expected to wear opaque clothing that covers them from shoulder to approximately mid-thigh. For example, students shall not wear halter tops, garments with thin straps, or strapless garments.”
In response, Goble sent an email to the Maine South administration outlining her disagreement with the studio’s decision. She also launched a Change.org petition, which garnered 2,500 signatures in a day.
“Shaming women for wearing the things that make them feel comfortable and happy in their bodies is horribly sexist, and leads many girls to grow up believing that if another individual cannot control their actions around women, that the woman was at fault,” Goble writes in the petition’s description.
A spokesperson for Maine South High School says the administration was unaware that the photo studio had requested that Goble retake her yearbook picture. “The yearbook photo in question will be published,” says David Beery, Director of Communications at Maine Township High School District 207. “No one at Maine South was aware” that the photo had been flagged.
Beery also says that the school’s principal, Ben Collins, plans to meet with students when the school year begins to revisit the dress code policy.
“I totally didn’t expect this positive reaction. I’ve received a lot of support from friends and even parents,” Goble tells CBS 2. “There are so many small instances that happen at school that I am quick to ignore and brush off, but I felt that this was the appropriate time to stand up for what I think is right.”