Approved PE Attire Should Include Athletic Leggings

As winter and colder weather approaches, PE students are left with only one option to stay warm: baggy unathletic sweatpants pulled on over the oversized shorts. Leggings would provide a much better, more comfortable and athletic option.

Freshman Alexis Awad said she would feel more comfortable participating in PE if the students were allowed to wear leggings. “If it’s cold out, why would you [wear shorts]? Bringing your own leggings…would be 10x better.”

Freshman Virginia Jane Terry agreed, “Leggings are meant to be exercised in. Stores promote that. Especially when it’s cold out [having another option besides] sweats, which can get you too hot later, [would be a much better]. I think leggings are just more comfortable.”

Likewise, freshman Meta Thompson said, “They’re athletic clothes and it’s really whatever people prefer to wear to exercise. [Some] people might not feel comfortable in the shorts. They might just want to wear leggings. It’s really up to the person.”

PE department head Alison Adams believes that leggings should not be worn in PE. Adams feels strongly that leggings should not be worn in PE for hygiene reasons because when you wear leggings, you are sweating with the fabric touching your skin. Sweatpants pulled on over the PE shorts are acceptable because the shorts worn only for PE class are the only thing touching your skin.

While these are all valid points, leggings are allowed to be worn for PE Yoga. If this is appropriate attire in PE Yoga where the students are encouraged to exercise in leggings, why isn’t this allowed in regular PE? Both classes can cause students to sweat, so it seems inconsistent that freshman PE students can’t wear leggings when they are allowed in other Campolindo PE courses.

Contrary to the PE teachers’ beliefs, many students find the sweatpants pulled over PE shorts combo to be inappropriate athletic attire. Leggings would provide a much better option.

Awad falls under this category of students. She believes sweatpants could to some extent be used to exercise in but “leggings would probably be better. Leggings are basically workout attire but I don’t think sweatpants are. I’d rather wear leggings.”

Terry said she doesn’t think sweatpants are appropriate to exercise in. “It’s more layers which can get hotter [than leggings], and it’s just uncomfortable.”

Thompson added, “I’m not sure why [Ms. Adams] allows sweatpants and not leggings because sweatpants are typically lounge clothes. I can see why it might [help when it] gets cold, but leggings can also help with staying warm. Sweatpants should be allowed, but I think leggings should be added to that.”

Since PE is meant to be all about having fun exercising and providing a mental break from tough academics, students should be allowed to wear whatever athletic clothing they feel most comfortable in. If some students would prefer to wear leggings brought from home or sweatpants instead of PE shorts, they should be allowed to have this option.

Principal Walker said “There is discussion between the PE department and the administration regarding uniforms, including the purchase and the distribution. There’s also policy [at the] Board of Education Level and in terms of education code regarding clothing and attire at school including attire for physical education.”

Walker also said that the decision to allow leggings in PE could be made and said, “I’d have to check in with [Ms. Adams]. Get her expertise, in terms of why leggings fall into a different category than sweatpants…the school site could agree to [allow leggings], but I wouldn’t do that without a conversation with the PE department.”

The Claw looks forward to hearing more from Principal Walker and the PE department about the next steps and a potential resolution. Allowing leggings as an option will ultimately help students to feel more comfortable and happy taking part in PE, especially with the winter months forthcoming.