Taft Students Leave Empowering Messages to Fight Dress Code Injustices


Aixa Corona

A recreation of one of the notes posted to girls’ bathrooms around Taft campus.

Many students at Taft High School have left empowering messages in attempts to fight the injustices they feel towards the dress code and sexual harassment .

There was a time in which students once felt indifferent about the dress code and never spoke out about the sexual harassment they witnessed or experienced . But with time there is always change. Recently there have been messages left around the campus. These messages speak out against the dress code, sexism, double standards, and sexual harassment . Although these messages bring awareness to different things they all have a main goal: empowerment.

The empowering messages first started to appear on lined paper taped to a wall, then written on the inside of bathroom stalls in the girls restrooms, and some were even left inside of classrooms. They are usually taken down by administrators after being up for a few days. There is reason to believe that it is mainly female students that are posting these messages. Though, no one has claimed responsibility for them.

These messages started to appear shortly after an instagram account was created to speak out about these injustices. The instagram account is called @Tummies.for.taft and is believed to be the main source of motivation for the messages. Some messages say “my body, my choice” and others say “dress code is sexualzing 14 year olds”.

Many female students feel that the dress code sexualizes them, is discriminative, is harmful, and disrupts their learning process.

“I think the dress code is dumb. “You’re distracting other students” but how? Why are they so focused on dress code when there’s other things going on? There’s sexual harassment that goes around at Taft” said Audrey A.

Many students feel as though Taft doesn’t care or support them and is more focused on their public image.

The anonymous owner of @Tummies.for.taft posted, “Not a single student can say they trust Taft. They don’t trust them to stay confidential, they don’t trust that they can stay supportive when they need it and students don’t trust Taft to keep them safe.”