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Have you ever worn leggings? Then you don't belong in class, says this Florida principal.

The biggest problem plaguing American high schools? Leggings, apparently.

Have you ever worn leggings? Then you don't belong in class, says this Florida principal.

Yesterday, a group of high schoolers were, um... I’m sorry. What was I saying? Oh yeah. So there’s this high school in Florida. They did ... this thing...

OK, this is getting embarrassing. I'm sorry, I'm just so distracted. I'm sure you understand.


You see, I'm writing this article from a coffee shop, and there are people wearing leggings here. LEGGINGS.

You know, those stretchy pants that people (mostly girls and women) wear on their legs. You may have heard about them in the news, because they've been scandalizing high school administrations across America.

Many schools insist that if girls wear leggings, their male colleagues — upstanding young citizens who would otherwise be diligently focused on their studies — will only be able to concentrate on their female classmates' bodies.

And yesterday, the curse of the distracting leggings struck again — this time, in Pensacola at Booker T. Washington High School.

A fed up student posted this photo on Facebook, which has been shared widely.

"Up until THIS MORNING we were allowed to wear leggings and without any prior warning every girl wearing leggings was sent to the office and they arent giving warnings, theyre SUSPENDING us for 10 days if we cant get a change of clothes or get checked out. Some of us CANT go home right now and how were we supposed to know anyway? They said we are a distraction for how we dress and we are taking away from people getting education. The only people who are getting their education taken away are the females. They said it was for boys in violation of dress code too, but there wasnt a single boy up there and I promise you there were just as many boys sagging their jeans as there were girls in leggings. Thank you for telling us that females actually arent equal to the males at Washington High School." — Amelia Martinez

According to students at the school, teachers were instructed to send all students wearing leggings to the principal's office. "Yesterday morning our principal came over the PA system. He began to talk about dress code, focusing mainly on the female body," a Washington student, Alexsys McClellan, told Upworthy.

"He told every teacher to send whoever was wearing leggings to him or the dean," she added.

An estimated 80 female students were pulled from class for wearing leggings.

Can you believe it? There were that many distractions, just walking around the school in front of everyone — "distractions" who were going to class, reading books, perhaps even studying for the SAT.

Some of the students had to call their parents and ask them to bring a change of clothes to the school. "We were there for over an hour just to deal with wearing leggings," another student told the Pensacola News Journal.

Washington High Principal Michael Roberts spoke to local radio show 1620 News Radio about the incident. "Today, sir, there was no change in the dress code. There was just enforcement of the dress code," he said. You can hear the rest of the interview here.

Within hours of the announcement, students began posting on Facebook about their disappointment with the school's decision — and they decided to take action.

"This is honestly way more distracting than leggings. That has been the only thing we have been talking about in every class," wrote one student, who should maybe consider a future career in school administration.

"I'm tired of having to change my life around to fulfill the needs of men," another girl posted. "I wake up every morning to come to a school to learn."

One student even created a Change.org petition, and McClellan wrote a letter to the school board.

The double standard is not lost on students at Washington High School. Photo by Alexsys McClellan, used with permission.

And women aren't the only ones calling out the administration. McClellan said lots of male students at Washington aren't too happy with the idea that girls should be held to different standards either.

"I'm very proud of them and how they've come together and helped us girls," she said.

"What's really distracting?" Photo by Alexsys McClellan, used with permission.

"The issue is important because we do not want to live in a society anymore where women are judged and lowered because of their gender," she said.

We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Alexsys.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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