School Dress Code and its Complications

By: Emily Papleux

Dress code is enforced strongly throughout the hallways of our school. More than ten students get sent home or are forced to change into other clothes each day. Administrators believe this will influence order and organization in our school system. But with dress code, extraneous issues are caused. Some may say that women’s dress code is more regulated than men’s dress code Many students are starting to form their own opinions about these rules. This is our current dress code:

  • Hats, caps, sweat bands, tennis skirts, midriff tops, pajamas, bedroom slippers, gloves and coats are not to be worn during school hours.
  • Girls shorts, skirts and skorts must reach the end of their fingertips, or it is considered out of dress code.
  • Tank tops are not appropriate for school.
  • Any jeans or shorts that have gaps above the finger are considered out of dress code.

These rules may seem perfectly reasonable to parents and teachers, but some students find them unfair and want their voices be heard about this subject. Eonna Wells, a sophomore who opposes dress code, says, “It’s [dress code] suppresses self-expression, and it also isn’t an equitable standard for both genders.”

This dress code is supposed to be enforced so that students are more focused on their schoolwork than on what others are wearing. But, by creating these rules, teachers and administrators are telling students (more women than men) that the way they dress is more important than their education. This causes the opposite influence they wish to spread.

Katie Griffins, a sophomore who is also a dress code opponent, explains that, “People should be able to choose what they wear and how they express themselves, and a high school should not sexualize a high school girl’s body parts by any means”.

Most female students interviewed have said these rules are somewhat sexist, and are forcing these girls to “cover up”when in reality, shoulders and knees aren’t body parts that should be sexualized under any circumstance.

In summation, most of the students interviewed had a similar perspective: when you force a girl to cover up, you are telling her that a boy’s “distraction free” learning environment is more important than her education. “What a girl wears does not dictate her intelligence or respect for others”, Gaby Yates, a sophomore student, says.

Though dress code gets a bad rap within these students, there are pros to having a school dress code. Though no one would go to school in a bikini, school dress code is important for regulating what students may wear, and some rules seem surprisingly reasonable, like no pajamas.

Ava Thomas, a student in North Springs says, “The fingertip rule should not be applied because everyone has different bodies and length of arms.”

Thomas also believes dress code should be for everyone, not just targeted towards race. She recounts that in her first week as a sophomore, she witnessed a caucasian female wearing a tube top and a mini skirt that was clearly out of dress code. That same day, a girl of color was walking in the hallways with a similar tube top with appropriate pants. The girl of color got dress coded, and the caucasian girl walked away without being reprimanded.

Thomas doesn’t believe it was racism, but more of a matter of privilege. “Dress code doesn’t even really apply to boys, but it should,” she explains, also relating to the fact that males in our schools may have more privileges than females.

School rules contribute to a organized and professional work area. Rules are not made to be broken, but made to organize a society and to be improved upon, until everyone feels equal, and that is exactly what we in North Springs, need to work on.

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