Cumberland County student's petition prompts change for graduation dress code

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Cumberland County high school student didn't want to wear a dress to graduation, so she fought back against the dress code, and won.

RELATED: Cumberland County student petitions for gender neutral graduation requirements

With more than two months until graduation, Lacey Henry is celebrating her victories.

The 4.0 student launched a petition requesting the district comply with Title IX by allowing female students who attend Cumberland Polytechnic High School to wear pants to graduation. School leaders granted her request.

"We have a voice and we have a law that protects us to fight back against these rules," said Lacey Henry. "If there's a federal law that's been in place for almost 50 years, you should be abiding by that law."

ABC11 reached out to Cumberland County schools and received the following statement:

The district's policy remains the same -- Cumberland County Schools' Regulation Code: 4316-R3 Graduation Student Dress Code provides guidance on regalia requirements for high school graduations, and it was updated last year (Feb. 12, 2018).

Some additional graduation attire guidelines are developed at the school level to ensure all students are dressed in a manner appropriate to the solemnity of the occasion. Our high schools are still finalizing graduation attire guidelines for the 2019 graduation season. However, they will be fully compliant with Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.

Schools may adjust their guidelines annually based on a variety of factors. We will continue to provide guidance to schools as they finalize their graduation guidelines for the Class of 2019 and beyond.
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