Dress Codes: Helpful or Harmful?

Camryn Pollard, Staff Writer

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According to current dress code rules, skirts, dresses, and shorts must reach a certain length to be considered “appropriate,” tank-tops, off-the-shoulder tops, and cropped shirts are not permitted at all, and holes in jeans cannot be above our knees. Notice a common factor here? Most dress code regulations are targeted at girls.

Schools instill a dress code to create a “distraction free learning environment.” Who is distracted by a shoulder or a little bit of thigh, teachers? They take time out of a young girl’s school day to make her change or take away her complete school day by sending her home or to In School Suspension if her attire is not within the dress code. This takes away from that girl’s education simply because she decided to wear shorts that were just slightly too short or a shirt that showed off a little shoulder. The “distraction free environment” now disrupts everyone. The teacher, who makes the observation, now cannot continue teaching until this “problem” is resolved. The class can no longer learn until their peer changes. The student misses class, or even an entire day of school, to deal with administrators about their clothing choices.

Some girls are literally unable to follow the dress code. Not all clothes fit people the same. Take two pairs of shorts, same size, brand, and style. Now put those shorts on two different girls, be sure the girls are different heights and builds. One pair will reach past the fingertips, one pair won’t. One girl will get dress coded, one girl won’t. Same exact shorts, different girls. How is it fair to the girl who gets punished for violating the dress code? How is it fair to the other girls who get dress coded for the exact same thing?

School dress codes are a ridiculous policy put in place to punish girls. Even though some type of code is required, a less strict policy would be deeply appreciated by girls everywhere.

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