School dress code needs to be ad“dress”ed


Tyson Edwards

Most students dress comfortably and appropriatley for the classroom.

Mia Scott, Opinion Writer

Never once have I heard the following sentences said by a male student:

“Her bralette is showing! How will I ever concentrate on my work?”

“I can’t focus on my work because her shorts are a couple centimeters above her fingertips.”

“Dang. That is one fine shoulder.” Yet dress codes in public schools across the country heavily focus on dressing specifically in a way that is not a distraction to male students.

If girls are getting pulled out of class due to shorts being a couple centimeters too short, bra straps or shoulders being shown, then isn’t that telling us that the school administrations care more about the way girls dress than learning itself? Instead of focusing on girls and the way they dress, focus on teaching people to respect others, regardless of their gender.

Dress codes consistently promote the objectification and sexualization of women. They punish the wearer for the looker’s actions. If a woman’s back, shoulders, legs, arms, face and other body parts are seen as provocative, where does it end? Instead of shaming girls for what they wear and punishing them, administrations should teach boys that girls are not sexual objects. The objectification of my body shouldn’t be something that I am punished for.
Boys can be taught that it is their responsibility to have self control. It is an insult to all males to assume that they’re incapable of focusing in class if another student is wearing a sleeveless outfit.

Most students dress appropriately and just want to be comfortable in school and confident in the way they look. While certain guidelines are necessary, the enforcement of the policies has been disproportionately targeted at female students. However, there is a solution to these sexist rules that we live by. Instead of regulating what things girls can wear that aren’t distracting, address harassment in assemblies.

The class meetings at the beginning of the year should address harassment, specifically “catcalling” other students. Catcalling drags down women’s confidence, and honestly, it scares us. We should not be regulated or punished when we are the people who are harassed. We should be allowed to come to school with confidence and assurance that nothing is going to happen to us in a learning environment.

Additionally, please quit telling some girls that they cannot wear a specific shirt and telling other girls that they can. This is discriminating against specific body types. Instead of focusing on a girl’s body shape and size, generalize the rule.

Finally, don’t make rules gender specific, make rules that apply to all genders. The handbook has made some progress in this area, but enforcement of the rules still seem to affect girls disproportionately. The word “distraction” should be removed from the county policy since the connotation is that girls are distracting to boys. In doing so, the focus of the dress code would shift from sexualizing girls’ bodies to establishing a professional learning environment for all students.