A mother from Sayville, Long Island, has started a petition to change the cross-country uniforms worn by her daughter’s high school team.
Karen Gaconnier’s daughter is in her first year on the team and as such, the mother just recently experienced her first meet. When she saw the uniforms worn by the team, she was not happy and took to Facebook to post her frustrations.
She says the brief-style bottoms worn by the athletes look too much like underwear for the girls to be wearing them in competition. In response to the uniforms, she started an online petition, Ban the Brief, asking the school to change the athlete kit and not offer the briefs as an option.
The issue was first reported by a Long Island news outlet, where Gaconnier is quoted saying she has a problem with the fact that the briefs would be against the dress code during class hours but were part of the uniform for competing at meets.
“We, the undersigned, believe that uniforms must cover undergarments, not be the undergarments. We want the option of choosing “hiny huggers” or briefs to be disallowed as uniform options in schools for female non-aquatic sports,” she wrote in her petition.
In response to the outrage, the superintendent has said that the uniform has been approved by the state’s public school athletic association and that students also have the option of wearing shorts that run across the thigh. Many of the athletes in the county opt for the shorter briefs.
The letter released by the school in response to parent complaints read (in part): “The goal in Sayville School District’s athletic program is to empower our student athletes with the confidence they need to do their personal best in their respective sports. The voice in the choice of uniforms contributes to this confidence. We will continue to monitor the opinions and concerns of our athletes and their parents with regard to the choice of uniform as we move forward on this issue.”
At the time of reporting, 1,157 people had signed Gaconnier’s petition. The full petition is here.