A black crop top and high-waisted shorts were what sent Plant High junior Katy Wood on a search for an imaginary jacket. Stopped recently by an administrator during her lunch period, Wood was charged with violating dress code. Her outfit left an inch of skin bare: a small strip across her stomach where her shirt did not touch her shorts. To avoid being sent to the main office or worse, sent home, Wood offered to get a jacket from her locker.
The jacket didn't exist, but its promise saved her from the consequences of breaking the dress code at Plant. "I wasn't able to eat that day because I didn't want to run into the A.P. who stopped me," Wood said.
"This idea that girls need to always cover themselves, it's sexist," she said. "Even one day in my art class, the teacher tried passing out old T-shirts to girls with tank tops on. It was something that really didn't need to happen."
She said she objects to the double standard applied to girls and guys.
"Girls are having a small strip of the stomach sexualized," she said, "while guys can be seen wearing tank tops and (really short) shorts."
Plant High isn't the only school where students are pointing to a double-standard. Hillsborough High senior Lenir La Cour says that guys and girls there are held to completely different standards for conforming to dress code.
"A lot of the time you'll see a girl getting stopped or told to go to the office because what they're wearing is 'inappropriate and is a distraction'," La Cour said.
It's not uncommon, though, to see "a whole bunch of guys sagging their pants and wearing tank tops and never getting written up for it," he said.
The term "distraction" is often used to describe girls' clothing that violates school dress codes. This can include shirts exposing the shoulder or midriff, or shorts, skirts and dresses that are shorter than fingertips when arms are held at the side.
"A lot of guys at my school, or really any school, can't keep their eyes off a girl who might be wearing something that shows off a little skin, making (the outfit) a 'distraction'," La Cour said. "But why should girls have to alter what they wear because a boy can't ...pay attention in class?"
Keyovanna Dees, a junior at Blake High, agrees. "They tell girls to cover up more of their body so that we won't be 'distracting' boys, but they never tell boys to focus on school and not (be) perverted," she said.
"I'm not harming anyone. I'm happy with how I look, and with my clothes," Wood said.
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going to the vestroom?
Hillsborough High junior Alec Tyler (left) and French teacher Richard Shelburnemodel the school's new bathroom passes: neon green traffic safety vests. Shelburne took the fashion statement to Twitter, posting this photo with the caption, "#fashionforward#pullingitoff." Hillsborough High administration instituted the vests as a standardized bathroom pass this school year, providing two for each classroom on campus. When you have to go, you glow.
Kathy Xie, Hillsborough High
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An item with a photograph from Largo High's Homecoming dance last week incorrectly identified the school's student body president. She is senior Brenda Vargas.
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INCREASE YOUR MUSIC IQ
BY DINORAH PREVOST
Future throwback soul. FTS. Thanks to UK singer-songwriter Daley, who got his big break in 2010 and used the term to describe his new style of R&B music, more artists have started embracing its electronic dance music influence.
The sub-genre is not yet well known here across the Atlantic. At Bananas Music in St. Petersburg recently, employee Sean Hammerle suggested Kendra Morris, a New York recording artist originally from St. Petersburg, as someone who might fall into the future throwback soul category. Cool to know about this locally grown R&B artist who attended Gibbs High's Pinellas County Center for the Arts, but Morris' sound is more neo-soul, with live instruments instead of electronic ones.
So you are ready when the wave of future throwback soul washes up on our shores, here are five things you should know about it:
- It's a mix of good olethrowback R&B and modern EDM. "(Future soul) feels like it's from now, or even from the future, but there's that nostalgia and ...all the stuff that people love about music from the past," Daley said in an interview at Grammy.com.
- A majority of future throwback soul artists (Daley, Ego Ella May, Kwabs, among others) are from the UK. Most of them are also independent, but some are catching the attention of major labels.
- FTS is similar to alternative R&B (Frank Ocean, The Weeknd). FTS is just less indie and has a more EDM flavor.
- The sub-genre emerged around 2010, about the same time EDM went global.
- Prediction: It's on track to replace traditional R&B and soul.