Dress Code or Stress Code

Maya Dingle-Huntley, Staff

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District 218 has a dress code that is enforced at every school in the district. Every student must follow the dress code or they’ll be disciplined accordingly. A lot of these rules are for the safety and the protection of the students, but there is a difference between trying to keep the students safe and being unreasonable.

There is talk among students that certain restrictions in the dress code policy shouldn’t be there. For examples, the policy states that “a student’s appearance, including dress and grooming, must not disrupt the educational process…. tops must cover shoulders and backs.”
This begs the question whether  one’s shoulder or lack of grooming is a distraction to the learning environment?

It doesn’t seem right to tell a female students that they can’t wear something because they’ll cause a distraction for male students. This isn’t sending the right message. Instead of disciplining the female student, perhaps the school should be teaching boys that it’s not ok to over sexualize females. This especially becomes a problem during the hotter months.

“I think certainly for women there is more of a challenge and there’s more grey areas…it’s not as clear cut as it is for boys and I think that makes it inconsistent in some ways,” Says assistant principal, Mrs. Kelli Mason.

What we as students wear or how we look should have no influence on how a student learns or their attention span. If the teachers are grasping the students full attention, the students won’t be focused on what someone else is wearing. If the student is knowingly showing too much skin on a regular basis, that would be a good opportunity for that student to speak to a professional and possibly uncover some deeper-rooted issues.

It’s also important to recognize that this building is rarely ever at the normal 72 degree room temperature.  A student could in theory travel from a 60 degree classroom straight to an 80 degree classroom.  For that student who can’t afford a hoodie to keep in his/her locker, it doesn’t seem fair not to allow him/her to get a coat.

The gender-imbalanced issue, along with a few other outdated and  seemingly unfair rules, signals to the student body that the dress code should be re-evaluated by the school district. The dress code should be reasonable and voted on by the students.  After all they’re the ones that have to abide by it for at least four years.

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