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A school insisted the girl students wear skirts. 3 girls fought the code in court — and won.

A North Carolina school required girls to wear skirts as part of their uniform. Two years ago, three female students decided to take a stand against the outdated code.

Keely Burks, 14, and the oldest of the three, created a petition asking her school to change its policy requiring the female students to wear skirts or risk punishment, which under the school’s policy could include calling parents, removing them from class and possibly expulsion. She herself had been punished for wearing shorts and was forced to “sit in the office all day” until her mother came to pick her up.

Burks explained that wearing skirts was a burden early on in her education. They kept her from sitting cross-legged like the boys, do cartwheels at recess or play soccer.


“My friends and I got more than 100 signatures on our petition, but it was taken from us by a teacher and we never got it back,” the eighth grader said in a post on the ACLU website. She continued by explaining that a few parents asked about changing the policy, but the school refused to hear them, claiming that making girls wear skirts promotes “chivalry” and “traditional values.”

The girls weren’t deterred. Instead of dropping the issue, they asked the ACLU to step in.

The human rights organization obliged, filing a lawsuit claiming the policy “violates the law and discriminates against girls.”

In their lawsuit, the group pointed out the obvious: that forcing girls to wear skirt was not only a distraction from academics, but also made it hard for them to engage in physical activity, sometimes resulting in discomfort and them being unnecessarily cold.

What gave the lawsuit weight was this is far from an isolated situation. Many girls across the United States are required to wear skirts as part of their school uniform.

However, the recent ruling on the ACLU’s case, courtesy of a North Carolina judge could change that.

“The skirts requirement causes the girls to suffer a burden the boys do not, simply because they are female,” wrote US District Judge Malcolm Harris on March 28 in response to the 2016 ACLU lawsuit against the Charter Day School in Leland.

“In the year 2016, I don’t think anyone should have a problem with young women wearing pants,” said Burks in the ACLU post. “There are so many professional women – businesswomen, doctors, and world leaders – who wear pants every day.”

Judge Harris found no merit to the school’s claims supporting the sexist uniform rules, slamming the policy in his ruling.

“The plaintiffs in this case have shown that the girls are subject to a specific clothing requirement that renders them unable to play as freely during recess, requires them to sit in an uncomfortable manner in the classroom, causes them to be overly focused on how they are sitting, distracts them from learning, and subjects them to cold temperatures on their legs and/or uncomfortable layers of leggings under their knee-length skirts in order to stay warm, especially moving outside between classrooms at the school,” he wrote. “Defendants have offered no evidence of any comparable burden on boys.”

While parents were supportive of the ruling, they were a little disturbed by the fact that getting the policy changed required an intervention by the legal system. “We're happy the court agrees," one of mothers, Bonnie Peltier, explained in a statement provided by the ACLU, "but it's disappointing that it took a court order to force the school to accept the simple fact that, in 2019, girls should have the choice to wear pants."

Hopefully this ruling will inspire other schools with similarly old-fashioned dress codes to reconsider their own policies, giving young women the same opportunities to dress as comfortably as their male counterparts. Gender equality may still have a long way to go, but giving young women the right to wear clothing on par with young men in 2019 should be a no-brainer.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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