Drama for the Dress Code

Why the dress code should allow for more individuality

Kiley Haberstroh

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For most people, clothing and style is the way they express themselves at school. Each day is an opportunity to embrace your individuality and reflect on your personality through your style. But how can people do that if there are a set of rules that students have to follow that aren’t really needed? 

There are some things on the dress code we can all agree with. Wearing super short shorts, over-revealing clothing, or wearing something that has offensive language is a logical offence. However, something like wearing a spaghetti strap tank top revealing nothing but shoulders should be absolutely acceptable. Are spaghetti straps really much different from a three finger width tank top? 

The dress code is a little bit too much.  One of the biggest arguments you hear is that female clothing is distracting to male students. Not only is this sexist, but it is unfair to both male and female students to assume that clothing plays that much of a role on academic success. 

For some teachers, dress code isn’t that big of a deal. There are only a few teachers who actually enforce these rules. So if only a few people care about it at all, why make the dress code so strict. Or even, why have it? Former Professor Jennifer Gonzales writes, “Dress codes are meant to create safe, positive learning environments in schools, but too many of them have the opposite effect, shaming students, robbing them of instructional time, and disproportionately targeting female students.”

Teenagers should be allowed to wear whatever they want to express whatever they want. Dress codes should most definitely discourage offensive language and wearing underwear as pants, but most would argue that shoulders and belly buttons should be the least of a school’s concerns when enforcing a safe environment for students.