On their first day of school on August 10, around 50 female students were reprimanded for dress code violations including off-the-shoulder tops, Yahoo Style reports.
Though technically these types of shirts are prohibited by the school's dress code, the students said they were surprised to get in trouble, because up until Monday, school administrators had never enforced the rule.
In fact, one student pointed out on Twitter that a huge number of girls had even been allowed to wear tops that showed their shoulders in their senior yearbook photos.
"The dress code policy hasn't been an issue the past two years I've been here," a female junior told Yahoo Style. She noted that the "administration says that it is for our own safety, but I don’t understand what they are keeping us safe from."
In response to such a large number of female students getting "dress coded" for off-the-shoulder shirts, many San Benito students decided to protest by wearing just that - including the boys.
One male student, named Andrei Vladimirov, who wore an off-the-shoulder top to protest the dress code told The Huffington Post that while the administration insists that it's enforcing the dress code rules to "keep kids safe," he believes it's just plain sexist.
"What I find problematic about this [keep kids safe] response is that if someone did try to assault a woman, the responsibility should lie solely on the attacker, not the victim," Vladimirov told The Huffington Post. "A woman never ‘asks’ to be objectified, assaulted or raped ― and such thinking is what creates harmful consequences. Women deserve to be treated with respect ― and to be treated with respect is to be given the freedom to express one’s self, and hold agency as an individual."
He continued: "The notion that women should clothe themselves because it is ‘distracting to men’ undermines both the agency and volition of women ― which has long been suppressed ― and the maturity of men, and reinforces the idea that all men are only concerned with sex."
San Benito's principal Adrian Ramirez told Yahoo that the dress code protest has been productive, in that he's actually been sitting down to listen to what students have to say.
"It’s been a really good process for me as principal to sit down and hear where issues arose," Ramirez said. "We wouldn’t blame a female student at all. We would never blame a female student for another student being distracted by something they wore. The other thing is as a school, we should be looking back and looking at how consistently we address the dress code across campus, and that’s something else students have brought up."
Looks like these kids are making a difference. Plus, they all look great in off-the-shoulder tops.