A school bus at Grossmont High School. Photo by Chris Stone
A school bus at Grossmont High School. Photo by Chris Stone

Police detained and released four Grossmont High School students after school officials requested assistance during a lunchtime protest targeting the school’s dress code Monday, a district official said.

When the lunch bell rang, students outside protesting refused to return to class, a Grossmont Union High School District representative said in a tweet.

The protest “escalated,” said Collin McGlashen, district public information officer, and a “secure campus” code was issued. School officials called law enforcement and the police remained on campus to “ensure an orderly return” to the school day, he added.

An NBC 7 helicopter recorded a portion of the protest shortly after McGlashen’s 12:40 p.m. public update on Twitter. Between 50 and 75 students can be seen on video standing near the entrance of the school, some attempting to hang a large banner.

The news channel reported “nearly a dozen” police vehicles were posted near the entrance. Four students were detained and released later on Monday, McGlashen tweeted around 3 p.m.

According to a petition on Change.org — with nearly 2,300 signatures – – the event at Grossmont High follows a series of pushbacks from students in the district about the dress code. The protest follows a district email recently sent to students reminding them of appropriate school wear and “to maintain a safe environment in the school,” Mari Da Silva, the petition’s organizer, said quoting the school.

Grossmont Union High School District prohibits: oversized or form-fitting clothing, including extra long shirts, sleeveless garments, pants without finished edges and a fitted waist and crotch, spaghetti straps/strapless/single- sleeve/off shoulder/halter/tube shirts or dresses, excessively low-cut garments (no cleavage showing), shirts that do not cover the back entirely, shirts not long enough to tuck in, slippers and pajamas, micro-mini skirts, dresses, and short shorts, wallet or waist chains, and spiked jewelry.

“It is September in San Diego and the heat is still not dying down,” Da Silva writes on Change.org. “Students are going to dress to the weather so they can be comfortable to learn, that is a safe learning environment.”

Da Silva said the dress code also unfairly targets female or feminine- dressing students and “enforces shame in our bodies.”