Marlena Baldacci, (CNN) — Instead of rah, rah, rah, some Florida schools are saying no, no, no — to cheerleader skirts they say are too revealing for the classroom.
The decision to ban cheerleader skirts during classroom hours is being ridiculed as short in spirit by some Pinellas County high school cheerleaders and parents.
School leaders say the uniforms just aren’t appropriate for classrooms and don’t fit into student dress codes.
Sophomore Jeana Fraser has been cheering since middle school, and she scored a spot on the Countryside High School Varsity cheerleading team this year. She told CNN affiliate WFLA that her “shorter than mid-thigh” skirt is a part of tradition: The football players and cheerleaders wear their uniforms each Friday during school on game day.
Jeana said dressing up for game day is a way for students to get excited for the football game.
Jeana’s father, David Fraser, told CNN that some kids “just don’t wear as many clothes as they should,” primarily because of the Florida heat. He said he understands administrators are in a tough spot, but that cheerleading is part of Americana.
Her mother, Donna Fraser, agreed, telling WFLA the ban is “almost un-American.”
According to Pinellas County Schools spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra, all 16 schools in the district have a dress code, and have for some time, but Countryside is an example of a school that is increasing enforcement.
Marquez Parra told CNN the emphasis should be on academics, and notes squads express their spirit during school hours at several schools in different ways. At one, cheerleaders wear their uniform tops, with sleeves, and matching bows in their hair.
Countryside High School deferred all of CNN’s questions to the school district.
Parra said the school is still working with the cheerleading team on what will be allowed during school for this Friday’s game day: One proposal is to put a Velcro attachment on the skirts to lengthen them, another is to buy the cheerleaders matching warmup pants.