Thursday, May 16, 2019
It was the principle of it all, the fact that it was 2019 and women had been wearing pants for a century.
“I didn’t think that was very acceptable,” Kozak told The Washington Post.
She knew female students before her had found the policy problematic and that individual exceptions had been made for those who felt strongly enough about the issue to formally ask for permission from administrators to put on pants (though they still had to roll the pant legs up, so their ankles would appear bare — like those wearing dresses.)
“I felt the female students were being disproportionately burdened by going through this extra process that their male counterparts did not have to go though,” she said. “And I did not think that was fair or right."
But nobody had felt powerful enough to dismantle the policy altogether. Maybe, she thought, it was time to try.***
So weeks later, on a school night in mid-April, Kozak took her fight to the school board.
She hadn’t had time to get on the agenda, so she typed up a short speech in Google Docs and planned to present it during public comment at the end of the meeting. For two hours, she waited through budget conversations and introductions of the new superintendent, through other student presentations and mundane crosstalk.***
Kozak invoked the American Civil Liberties Union and its recent legal victory against a public charter school in North Carolina, which had defended its no-pants policy for young girls — and lost.