Front Cover of Dresscoded 2 featuring title text and portrait of womanIn April 2018, the National Women’s Law Center released Dress Coded: Black Girls, Bodies and Bias in D.C. Schools. Co-authored by 21 students who live and learn in Washington, D.C., public schools, this groundbreaking report exposed how racist and sexist enforcement of dress codes unfairly targets Black girls, promotes rape culture and fuels school pushout. The report ignited student and parental activism within schools, the District and across the nation and fueled policy change and legislative action. Despite these inspiring steps, problems with dress code enforcement still remain in many D.C. schools—particularly in charter schools, which, unlike schools within the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) system, are not governed by a central school district. This report looks at the work activists and policymakers have done and the work that still needs to be done to promote equitable school dress codes in the nation’s capital.

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