The ACLU of Idaho has submitted a federal complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, against the Nampa School District.
The complaint alleges that the school district’s ambiguous dress code and disciplinary measures disproportionately impact Latine students, often centered around ethnic and cultural attributes. Roughly 40 percent of Nampa School District students identify as Hispanic. The complaint highlights policies such as an informal “no rosaries policy” that restricts the visible display of Catholic rosaries and personalized “color contracts” prohibiting specific students from wearing particular colors.
“We continue to learn from Latine families about discriminatory policies and practices by the Nampa School District,” said Erica Rodarte, legal fellow at the ACLU of Idaho. The policies provide sweeping discretion to discipline students for dress and expression, while simultaneously failing to provide defined guidelines. What’s more, these policies maintain a culture in the district that has targeted and disproportionately disciplined multiple generations of students.”
This is far from the first time a dress code has been accused of being discriminatory towards a minority group. Recently policies around dress and even hair have come under fire for prejudice against certain students.