An Arizona dad had no qualms about stripping down to shorts and a crop top at a recent school board meeting in protest of Higley Unified School District’s new dress code. Ian Latham, who has four kids attending schools in the district, took off his clothes to show off what he believes is inappropriate attire for kids. He thinks officials need to get much stricter and stop letting students wear whatever they want.
- Latham’s “statement” was captured on video. In the clip, he approaches the podium to address school board members. “Under the proposed policy, this would be appropriate in a classroom,” he says before taking off his shorts and t-shirt to show off the crop top beneath. He even gives a little twirl to show off his fashion choices to those in attendance.
- He has no regrets about pulling the stunt. Latham told Fox affiliate KPTV that he was making a very clear point at the September meeting and he hopes that got through. “As a dad, that’s very concerned about my children as well as everyone else’s kids in the district, I wanted to make a clear argument,” he said. It’s unclear how a student wearing a crop top would endanger his children, but okay.
- The former policy would have prohibited such an outfit. The dress code that dated back to the ‘90s dictated that students couldn’t show their chest, midriff, or abdomen. However, given that it’s 2023, Higley Unified thought it needed an update and now simply prohibits kids from showing their underwear.
- Ira Latham thinks kids need more rules and less leeway to wear what they want. While many would consider their fashion choices a mode of self-expression, Latham thinks they need more direct “guidance” on what kind of clothes are okay to wear to school. “Before they had some guidance, but now they have no guidance. It’s just, ‘Kids, cover your underwear,’” he said.
- His charade may have been hilarious, but it didn’t convince the school district to change its policies. Governing board president Tiffany Shultz admitted that Latham’s display was “a stunt that is great for news,” but that they simply continued aas planned. “He made his statement and we carried on with our business. We heard from other speakers and moved on,” she explained. “As a board, we voted to ultimately let parents and families decide what is appropriate for them. It is the parents’ and family’s choice and as long as it doesn’t disrupt the school day, it would be a non-issue.”
- Most parents are totally fine with the new dress code. Amanda Wade, another of the district’s board members who voted for the new policy, agreed with Shultz that there’s nothing wrong with the updated dress code. “While I respect and understand there are some parents who are angry with the policy, the choice of one parent at the board meeting to wear clothes to express his displeasure with the policy felt like it missed the mark,” she said.