Students have always hated the dress code, but this year they made their opinions heard. There was silent protests and conversations that lead to changes this year. The school board spent hours deliberating what, why, and how to change the dress code. We got changes that students wanted and it helped boost morale, however there are some students who wanted more. We interviewed students and teachers to get their opinions and views on the dress code, as well as what started the protests and changes.
A few changes that were made in the dress code this year was the rule of “no hats” being removed, along with girls now being able to wear off the shoulder tops, as well as girls being able to wear leggings and not having to wear a long shirt that covered their butt with them. This all started with the new principal, Mr. Burr, going into a student council meeting during the first week of school. He wanted to ask the leaders in student council how they felt about the dress code and what they thought was fair. The girls in the meeting immediately stepped up, holding back nothing, making sure Mr. Burr knew they found it wrong to draw lines on a woman’s’ body saying shoulders aren’t okay to show. After this discussion, the word started to get out, a group of girls got the idea that if they did a silent protest by purposely wearing shirts that showed their shoulders or stomaches the school would realize it was time for a change. One of the girls that were part of this silent protest was Kayla Haines, a junior this year at the high school. We pulled her aside to ask some questions about this. The first question we asked her was if she thought the school dress code was justified for everyone and not just directed at girls, her response was “not really, guys don’t really get in trouble with tank tops, but girls could wear the same thing and the they would get dress coded. It’s very biased between girls and boys”. We then asked her how she felt about girls’ shoulders being shown, she answered with “I think shoulders are perfectly fine, and tank tops should be equally allowed”. We also asked her about her opinion on stomachs being shown, she said “ I think there should be a limit to it, but it should still be allowed, like maybe an inch or an inch and a half is where you draw the line”. Our last question we asked Kayla was if she thought the change in dress code from last year to this year was good or not. She answered with, “ I think they made a decent change, but there’s people who aren’t satisfied and they’re still very strict about it”.
Now that there’s a few new rules to the dress code, there’s the questions of what’s reasonable, what’s crossing the line, and what teachers will allow in school. To get the answers to these questions we asked a teacher who is adamant on the dress code, Mrs. Lee, what her opinion was. Our first thing that we asked Mrs. Lee about was how she felt about tank tops and off the shoulder shirts, she said, “Basically it comes down to this, if you’re exposing way more of you body then you are covering, then that’s just not okay. Or if it’s going to just pop off and expose something, no. It all depends on how much they’re exposing really, there is no line drawn in the sand”. To get another opinion on what teachers thought was appropriate and not appropriate for the dress code, We pulled aside Mr. G to ask him how he felt about girls showing stomachs and what he thought about that. His opinion was “it is inappropriate for girls to set themselves up that way in both a work and social environment.” We also asked if he thinks there should be a cutoff line for stomachs and he said “If we are going to enforce a rule there needs to be a blanket statement or people will push it”.
In conclusion, the dress code made some changes and it was both good and bad. People will always want more changes but, overall the school is trying to keep it professional. They are setting kids up for the real work environment and keeping it seen as a work environment while still letting them show their colors as a human as much as possible. There may still be a few changes but right now it’s holding steady.