Dress code: should it be changed or enforced?

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Everyone knows the dress code. Administration believes all students are able to have a “safe learning environment” by not being able to see shoulders, legs, or collar bones.

The only two rules male students are supposed to follow are no saggy pants and no muscle shirts. While female students have to follow six which include all bottoms must be longer than mid-thigh, no clear bra straps, no halter tops, strapless tops, off the shoulder tops, or “bra like” tops.

According to campus supervisors, they usually look for female students wearing shorts that do not go past the mid-thigh, tops that have thin straps or no straps. They do give out warnings sometimes if it’s a small violation.

Dress code is a problem in the spring or summer months but during the winter the complaints are very small. The dress code does imply the given rules like no slippers or wheelies and some are just ignored overall such as no ripped jeans.

There is a sense of a double standard with the dress code— how the male students get it “easier”. The female students have to dress around more rules than males.

Most of our students do not obey the rules. We do wear shorts and tops that we know will cause a dress code violation but not out of retaliation or rebellion. I searched the most shopped at retail stores and there was only few pairs of shorts that were mid-length. While tops are also getting cropped. It is our choice to dress in shorts and tops because we know the rules and the consequences if we get caught but it is hard to dress “appropriately” when the clothing options are limited.  

Recently the students in the Alameda Unified school District in San Francisco are able to wear what they want. “We want kids and parents and guardians to be deciding what appropriate is” Rebecca Baumgartner an English teacher. The new dress code implies that all students must wear bottoms, tops, shoes, and clothing that covers private areas. Visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not violations. Students are not taking advantage of the change, but the unnecessary discipline has been cut.