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Photo: George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

Dress codes of yore are starting to crumble in the face of critiques about sexism and racial inequity.

Driving the news: School districts in California, Illinois and Oregon are explicitly allowing tank tops and short shorts, the AP reports. A suburban Houston school district in Texas is "reevaluating" a rule banning boys from wearing makeup. School districts nationwide are backing off rules that forbade hoodies.

Between the lines: The National Organization for Women's Oregon chapter created draft rules in 2016 that focused on ending rules "that reinforce gender stereotypes and minimize unnecessary discipline or 'body shaming,'" the AP notes.

  • "Students in Alameda, Portland and Evanston have freedom to wear mostly anything as long as it includes a bottom, top, shoes, covers private parts and does not contain violent images, hate speech, profanity or pornography."
  • "Vague language in the old Alameda policy caused confusion, which led to arbitrary enforcement, students and teachers said."
  • "There was, for example, a 'three-finger' rule on the width of tank top straps and a ban on shorts and skirts shorter than 'mid-thigh' and a rule against 'low-cut tank tops.'"

Be smart: Many of these changes wouldn't be happening without social media. Viral Facebook posts featuring parents who are outraged by their kids facing dress code infractions are a dime a dozen, and they've put school administrators on their heels.

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

Progressives pressure Schumer to end filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

4 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.