In the 21st century people use clothes as a representation of who they are. In school we are restricted on what we wear. School dress code was brought upon so that what the students were wearing would not distract another student based on what they are wearing, which is understandable. But it seems that the school dress code has become controversial.
As a teenage girl school dress code has tremendously affected me because I have to make sure what I’m wearing is appropriate to wear to school, I have, on several occasions, chosen an outfit, verified my outfit with my mother and gone to school just to be told I was showing an inch of midriff and my shoulders were not covered. Lizzy Martinez, a high school student at Braden River High School in Orlando, Florida got a sunburn on her back and her bra was causing her pain. She decided not to wear a bra and wore a large shirt so as not to draw attention to her chest. She later was called out of class to meet with her Dean and Principal who, after making her explain why she did not have a bra on, explained that her nipples were showing and were distracting to the boys. She was then told to put an undershirt on. After she complied, she was then told to put bandaids on her nipples. Martinez said, “No one said a thing to me until I got to the Dean’s office.”
Girls are told to dress appropriately in order not to “distract” their students but why shouldn’t the students be told to control themselves? In school, students are told they’re “being trained for the real world.” In the real world people are wearing WHATEVER they want and there is no dress code in the real world, so why shouldn’t the students be taught how to control themselves and get rid of the dress code?
If schools are preparing their students for the real world, than we shouldn’t have school dress codes because like I stated in my last paragraph, the real world has no dress code. An unnamed writer at the Times Colonist says, “Part of an education is learning what is appropriate and what is not as you make your way in the world, and that includes how to dress. There is still a place for dress codes in schools. But those codes should be fair, sensible and as gender-neutral as possible, which has not always been the case.” I agree with this statement. Part of an education is learning what is appropriate and what is not but I don’t agree that it means we should keep the dress code. Like I said before we should teach the students what is appropriate behavior when you see someone wearing clothes that are showing more than they should rather than just telling students to change because the boys cannot focus or pay attention. I don’t think I have ever distracted a student in class. I have time and time again been dress coded for silly reasons, such as spaghetti strap tank tops which only show as much as shoulder.
All in all, dress codes should not be imposed but taken away and students should be taught how to act, rather than making a girl change for expressing herself. And I only say “her” because it is very rare that you hear a boy be told what he’s wearing is not appropriate for the time being, other than being told to take their hats off in class. High school students are figuring out who they are in life and their clothing choice is a representation of that. By telling a female student to change her outfit is like asking her to stop expressing herself -and that’s not fair for female students.
Reporter: Nessa Osso