Dress for Success

Abbie Hensley , Staff Writer

While any set of guidelines can be cause for some eye rolling, one manual seems to create more dismay than others: a school dress code.

In the planner students receive on the first day of school each year, a list of unacceptable clothing and accessories are listed under the header “student dress.” The contents include nine items by which students must abide, and administrators and teachers are given permission to screen students based on how appropriate the students’ garb is.

While the rules are plainly stated, many students have complaints about the dress code that is in place.

“I think we should be able to wear what we want when we want,” junior Jasmyn Kloester said. “Why should it matter if you see a girl or boy’s shoulder, or even if we wear hats?”

According to rule number six of the student dress code, “Clothes that expose the back, sides, or midriff of a student are not appropriate for the school setting and are not acceptable.” Senior Taylor Paris has a problem with this rule.

“I don’t understand why we can’t wear tank tops or crop tops,” Paris said. “I think the dress code is way too strict.”

That doesn’t mean that all students have a problem with the dress code, and some are even in favor of it.

“I agree with basically the whole thing,” junior Emily Will said. “You can wear nearly whatever you want as long as it isn’t drastically inappropriate.”

Administrators and teachers often step in when it comes to clothing related misconduct.

“Last year I wore a crop top to school and got scolded for ‘showing too much of my midsection,’” Paris said. “No boy I’ve ever talked to has been distracted by an inch of my stomach.”

Many teenagers like Paris feel as if they specifically are being targeted because of their gender.

Kloester had a similar experience last year when it came to one of her outfits. “I was wearing a dress with a sweater over it,” Kloester said, “and the dress wasn’t too short but a bit of my side was showing.”

A teacher then spoke to Kloester, telling her to “fix my sweater and make sure it stayed in place all day.”

Sophomore Kylie Chiapelli was made to change her shirt at registration this year. “My shirt barely showed my stomach,” Chiapelli said. “I really don’t even typically wear shirts like that.”

Chiapelli sees some of the rules as “too much,” but for a different reason as her peers.

“I think rules are definitely necessary regarding dress code,” Chiapelli said, “but for some people, the clothes they wear are a way of expressing themselves and I think it’s unfair for someone to tell them they cannot wear what makes them feel good about themselves.”

The dress code does not come without its sympathizers.

“I previously went to a school with a uniform, so when I got to this school I loved the dress code,” senior Julianna Cullen said. “While the dress code doesn’t fit all of the clothing that I have in my closet, I do understand why our school has to have it in place.”