North Carolina charter school can't force girls to wear skirts, Supreme Court rules

FILE - Morning light shines outside The United States Supreme Court building on March 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court on Monday left in place an appellate ruling barring a North Carolina public charter school from requiring girls to wear skirts to school.

The justices declined without comment to hear an appeal from the Charter Day School in the eastern North Carolina town of Leland. A federal appeals court had ruled that the school's dress code violated students' constitutional rights.

School founder Baker Mitchell had said the dress code was intended to promote "chivalry" by the male students and respect for the female students, according to court documents.

The dress code already has been changed to allow girls to wear pants, in line with the lower court ruling.