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SAN DIEGO — Students at Cathedral Catholic High School in Carmel Valley are protesting a decision to ban skirts from the school’s dress code.

After issuing “thousands of hours of detention” to students modifying the length of uniform skirts, Principal Kevin Calkins sent news of the ban to students in an email on Friday, local media reported. In the email, Calkins wrote that the dress code exists to foster a faith-based environment where students are focused on learning and not outward appearances.

“Male faculty feel uncomfortable addressing female students about the length of their skirts, even female faculty have expressed frustration with the ongoing challenge of dress code,” Calkins wrote in the email.

Female students will be allowed to wear pants, capri pants or Bermuda shorts. Male students have the option of wearing pants or shorts, according to the email.

Before the ban, female students were allowed to wear skirts that were not excessively tight or form fitting and that were no shorter than 3 inches from the top of the kneecap while standing upright, according to the school’s dress code.

In response to the ban, the students created a petition on As of Tuesday morning, 2,669 people have signed the petition.

Students also planned a peaceful protest that was set to begin at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday in front of the school.

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