Teen Calls Out School's 'Sexist' Dress Code With Hilarious Yearbook Quote

"Over the past four years, myself and my friends have received dress code violations for clothes that were nowhere near inappropriate."

A New Jersey teen joined a growing movement of students speaking out against sexist dress codes with a cheeky yearbook quote.

Tori DiPaolo, a senior at West Milford High School in New Jersey, dons a black shoulder-bearing top in her yearbook picture. Underneath the small photo, DiPaolo's quote reads, "I'm sorry, did my shoulders distract you from reading this quote?" 

The cheeky barb clearly takes aim at West Milford's dress code which, according to the West Milford public school district's website, forbids "halters, half-shirts, shorts, or sweaters and blouses that expose breasts or stomachs."

DiPaolo tweeted a photo of her yearbook picture on June 13, writing, "Tori: 1; Dress Code: 0."


"Over the past four years, myself and many of my friends have received dress code violations for clothes that were nowhere near inappropriate," DiPaolo tells Yahoo Style. "I became a bit infamous around school for fighting the administration about dress code... I just found it funny that the outfits for senior portraits technically violated the dress code by exposing our shoulders, so I saw my opportunity and ran with it."

But DiPaolo's quote was more than a humorous quip, as it also called attention to the nature of West Milford's dress code. "It's all based on sexism, and it is completely unreasonable," the graduating senior tells Yahoo of the code. "There have been a number of incidents where I was called into the office due to what I was wearing. Whether it was my bra strap showing, or my midriff being a quarter inch exposed, administration always gave me a problem."

Male students, DiPaolo says, receive different treatment. "While my school as well as most others have dress codes that apply to boys and girls it's usually only girls that get dress code violations," she explains to HuffPost. "My school's dress code prohibits boys from wearing muscle shirts but they do all the time and don't get in trouble yet, when my bra strap accidentally slips I have to miss class time to go change." 

In recent months, many students across the world have challenged their school dress codes, and have gone to great lengths to ensure their voices are heard. Last year, for example, students at a California high school protested their dress code by defying gender norms and rocking outfits typically worn by the opposite gender.

When a 13-year-old named Grace Villegas was shamed for wearing a top deemed too revealing by teachers, her 18-year-old sister had her back and called out the school's sexist dress code in a shirt of her own making.

And finally, when a sixth grader purposely violated her school's dress code to make a point, the school took note and listened, agreeing to reevaluate the rules and restrictions in place. Maybe the teachers and administrators at West Milford High School will follow suit.


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