Members of the track and field team at Albany High School in upstate New York received a suspension after they launched a petition calling out gender dress code bias.
There were 13 girls on the 15-member track team who were asked to leave practice for wearing sports bras instead of shirts, according to Yahoo News. Sophomore Jordan Johnson is one of them.
She said the athletic director told them they couldn’t wear the bras since the team has male coaches.
In response, Johnson created a petition titled “Stop Gender Biased Dress Codes: Allow the Girls Track Team to wear Sports Bras,” which criticized the athletic administration. As of Thursday, the petition garnered over 4,000 signatures.
“The athletic administration staff is attempting to exclude us from our sport as a result of the misinterpretation of the dress code,” according to the Change.org petition. “We’re being punished for practicing in sports bras in the presence of male coaches, while the boys team was asked nicely to put shirts back on and was not punished.”
Ron Lesko, director of communications and operations for the Albany school district, said that the athletes were disciplined “due to inappropriate and disrespectful behavior directed toward an administrator,” at a Lacrosse game, not because of their activism.
Twelve of the students have been reinstated, with Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adam noting team members have agreed to participate on a committee that reviews Student Code Conduct for next year, including student attire.