Students agree dress code targets females pt. 2

Will Salaverry, Copy Editor

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Our school dress code is a subject that may be uncomfortable to discuss, however, due to some ridiculous, outdated rules, students and staff need to have a conversation about what constitutes appropriate clothing. To me, it seems that the dress code is needlessly conservative and overwhelmingly affects students who identify as female.

According to the school’s dress code, “Students have the right to make individual choices from a wide range of clothing and grooming styles, but they must not present a health or safety hazard or a distraction.” This clause makes sense to me and I agree with it.

School should be safe, and though distractions are inevitable, we should try to limit the amount of them in favor of learning. That being said, for the most part, the rest of the rules in the dress code DO NOT target safety hazards or distractions.

One of the paragraphs that attempts to limit “distractions” is as follows “Short-cropped, low-cut and open in back and/or side tops which expose one’s stomach, chest, back or sides and extremely short shorts/skirts are not appropriate.” This is the language that girls feel unfairly and specifically targets them.

This policy doesn’t have a big enough impact on “distractions” to merit the restrictions they put on girls’ freedom to wear what they want. I can’t speak to the situation personally because I’ve never been cited, but I can imagine that being told your outfit makes you unfit to be at school is pretty demoralizing and shameful.

The argument for these policies is that boys are easily distracted from learning when girls show too much skin. Maybe it’s just me but I have never heard anyone say, “I was doing AP Stat homework but I just noticed that this girl is wearing short shorts; well, I guess I’m done with Stat for the day.”

The dress code also says that if a student is caught in violation they can be made to change or sent home altogether. If girls are getting sent home for shorts why isn’t there a policy that sends home people who talk in class? Isn’t that just as much if not more of a distraction?

People should be encouraged to use good judgement. If I’m deciding between a white shirt and one with beer cans and a swear word on it I should realize which option is best for school. However, these judgements are largely personal and staff should lead with the assumption that a student is expressing themselves rather than causing a distraction.

I’m not saying that guys don’t ogle girls and vice versa, but in terms of distractions in the classroom, things like people falling out of chairs and phones ringing are far more distracting than almost all choices of clothing. If that sub who made up his own language wears his hat with the duck on it, maybe I’ll take a long look. Otherwise I have enough self control not to lose my focus to someone’s outfit.