In this article, they discuss the recent decision by the Fourth Circuit in Peltier v. Charter Day School, Inc. The case involved a public elementary charter school in North Carolina called Charter Day School, which mandated attire based on traditional gender roles, requiring girls to wear skirts, jumpers, or skorts, and only allowing pants and shorts to be worn by boys. Students complained that the dress code was unfair to girls, as it restricted their movement and made them uncomfortable.
The court ruled the dress code was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, and the school’s dress code was also held subject to Title IX. This is a significant case because it is among the first to declare public charter schools as state actors subject to the Equal Protection Clause.
Michelle and Heidi also touch on the long-term impacts that school sanctioned gender-biased dress codes can have on young children, the far-reaching implications this case will have on dress codes and public charter school cases, and what may happen next as a petition for certiorari has been filed with the Supreme Court.