We all know about restrictive dress codes. They're typically used to unfairly target female students, students of color, and those with different religious beliefs. In the last year alone, there have been too many senseless dress code violations to count in schools across the states. Just this week, a Texas principal was forced to apologize after a video showing only the school's female students being punished for sexist dress code violations. It's truly getting out of hand.

But there is a glimmer of hope! One school district in Alameda, California is changing how dress code policies affect students.

Alameda Unified School District adopted a new dress code over the summer on a trial basis for the coming school year.

It leaves the decision of whether tops are too revealing or shorts are too short up to the students and their parents.

"We want kids and parents and guardians to be deciding what appropriate is," English and history teacher Rebecca Baumgartner told The Chronicle.

The new dress code is divided into three sections: what students must wear; what they may wear and what they can’t wear.

Students must wear:

Bottoms, tops, shoes, and clothing that covers genitals, buttocks and areolae/nipples with opaque material.

In other words, just cover up the important bits.

Students may wear:

Hats, including religious headwear; hoodie sweatshirts (overhead is allowed); fitted pants, including leggings, yoga pants, and skinny jeans; sweatpants; shorts; skirts and dresses; midriff-baring shirts; pajamas; ripped jeans, as long as underwear is not exposed; tank tops, including spaghetti straps, halter tops; and "tube" (strapless) tops.

photo: NBC

The items students cannot wear are limited to:

Violent language or images, and items depicting illegal activity, hate speech, profanity, or pornography. You also cannot have visible underwear or bathing suits of similar design. However, they specify that "visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not a violation."

Steven Fong, AUSD’s Chief Academic Officer explained in a press release that these changes to the dress code will help to keep the main focus on learning during the school year.

"We believe these changes will reduce inequitable and unnecessary discipline and help us maximize learning time," he said. "Districts across the country are adopting similar revisions for similar reasons. We are excited to be moving forward with such a student-centered approach."

People (including us) are applauding Alameda's progressive policy.

But, of course, this is the internet. So, while some are celebrating the changes, others are getting riled up on Facebook.

Some immediately started bashing California (yes, the entire state) for the policy, claiming it's a terrible place and they'd never send their children there.

I can't make this stuff up.

Others thought it was a bad idea because it wouldn't prepare students for the "real world."

The thing is, Alameda isn't suggesting these kids dress outrageously. They just want kids to be comfortable, express themselves, and focus on their education.

"There’s an opportunity to listen to the young people," said Margo Dunlap, a parent of students in the Alameda district. "They’re dressing in a way that’s comfortable for them."

That's a step in the right direction and deserves to be celebrated.

photo: Giphy

Let's just hope that other school districts around the country begin to follow suit.