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Robin Huebner, Published November 13 2012

ROBIN HUEBNER REPORTS: Local schools see no leggings problem yet (with chat link)

FARGO - A Twin Cities-area high school principal is taking a stand on girls wearing leggings in his school, urging parents this week to ask their daughters to cover up if they wear the tight and trendy pants – which the principal said are becoming a distraction.

But a quick check of schools in the Fargo-Moorhead area shows the form-fitting pants haven’t become a major concern.

Linda Davis, principal of Discovery Middle School in Fargo, says in a few cases, they have asked students wearing tight or otherwise inappropriate clothing to change.

“We take it on an individual basis. If the pants fit more like a leotard,” a student may be pulled aside, she said.

The hubbub over leggings began when Minnetonka High School Principal Dave Adney emailed parents on Monday, urging them to talk with their children about leggings and other tight-fitting pants. Adney, who isn’t seeking to ban leggings, said students used to wear long shirts over them, but the shirts are getting shorter and showing more bottom, according to the Associated Press.

Brad Larson, principal of Carl Ben Eielson Middle School in Fargo, says they’ve had discussions about leggings but have chosen to allow them. He’s more concerned about girls wearing tight-fitting, low-cut tops.

“The biggest thing we fight is cleavage,” Larson said. “We tell them to pull their shirt up, and if they can’t, we have them call home and bring something different to wear.”

Larson said they usually allow the students to try to fix the problem on their own.

“My position is, I don’t make a big issue about it unless they choose to make a big deal about it,” he said.

Don Lennon, principal at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo, also has more of an issue with low-cut tops in his school, “especially with the eighth-grade students,” Lennon said. But occasionally, school officials have had to talk to students wearing leggings or yoga pants.

Moorhead High School Principal Russ Henegar says leggings really haven’t been a problem in his school.

Fargo Davies High School Principal Troy Cody doesn’t see it as a major educational issue either.

However, Cody says they have taken a hard stand on clothing, jewelry or any other item that promotes violence or illegal substances, or anything that ridicules others.

In general, most local schools refer to their dress codes and ask students to use common sense.

“Our kids are pretty respectful,” Davis said.

And, she said, they have good support from parents.

Davis also recognizes that with each generation, there will be clothing that pushes boundaries.

“I grew up in the mini skirt era,” Davis said. “I’m sure I drove my principal and my parents crazy.”

Readers can contact Robin Huebner at rhuebner@forumcomm.com