The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Dress code: It was never that serious


Dress Code violations versus non-dress code violations (Photos by Elijah Hoskins)

These days, the dress code is rough on students, some more so than others. Dress codes typically target girls;  adults often enforce policies such as no short shorts, no midriffs, and no spaghetti straps, all of which are worn mostly by girls. 

School Dress Code laws in the United States have been around for 55 years dating back to the United States Supreme Court Case Tinker v. Des Moines School District which involved a couple of high school students who decided to wear black armbands to school. 

Wake County Public School Systems’ dress code is less strict than many other school districts. The dress code states that students are not allowed to wear clothing or book bags/purses that are gang-related or things that can cause substantial disruption to the operations of the school or the education process. The Dress Code also states that students must cover their skin from chest to mid-thigh with fabric you cannot see through. 

¨Over the past few years, the Board of Education has looked at the County Dress Code to make adjustments that ensure that the policy is equitable.  Dress code violations are a Level 1 offense, so [they] do not carry the weight of out-of-school suspension for consequences,¨ said Amanda Boshoff, principal at Athens Drive. 

Some laws can prevent schools from discriminating against student’s hairstyles. Certain schools used to rely on the law to back their discriminatory rules against hairstyles and student attire.  However, laws have been instituted to protect students from discrimination with their hairstyles and textures.

The Crown Act is a California law that prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture by extending protection under the FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act) and the California Education Code. It is the first legislation passed at the state level in the United States to prohibit such discrimination. 

Daryl George is an 18-year-old student from Texas targeted by his school because of his hairstyle. George has been suspended from school numerous times all because of his dreadlocks. A representative from the district spoke to the press about George and his current residence in ISS. 

“Until he cuts [his] hair or we get [a] court ruling to the contrary, he will stay in ISS,” David Bloom, a spokesperson for the district previously told CNN.

School officials say that they warned George that if he did not cut his dreadlocks disciplinary action would be taken against him. George chose not to cut his hair and keep it the same length, George normally wears his hair twisted or braided up. 

¨I am aware of the case and am amazed and appalled that policies would be implemented that suggest that one change their hairstyle per a dress code policy.  These policies also typically unfairly target minority students and should be abandoned altogether,¨ said Boshoff.

Greg Abbott signed the Texas Crown Act into law in May of 2023 prohibiting race-based hair discrimination at work, school, and housing facilities in the state. The law prohibits school districts from implementing policies that discriminate against hair texture or protective hairstyles commonly or historically associated with race, such as braids, locks, and twists. School officials tried to argue that the law does not protect hair length yet the lawmakers who helped write the Texas Crown Act said the law was intended to protect George and his hairstyle. 

Most would think that in a country with the slogan that says “home of the free and the brave” students would be able to wear whatever they want as long as it is not gang-related or directly harming or wishing harm to others but welcome to America where that is NOT the case. 

It should not matter what someone’s hair looks like as long as it is not gang-related or causing a disruption to the learning environment. Who looks at dreadlocks and says “Ouhh that is very distracting to me and I just can’t focus on my English assignment…” almost no one. 

Dress codes can work just as well as laws can work as long as they don’t go too far and infringe on people’s constitutional freedoms. If adults included kids in this conversation compromise could likely be reached or at least a very progressive conversation could be had.

Boshoff weighed in on Dress Code, Daryl George, and how it relates to Athens. 

¨Athens Drive, like all WCPSS schools, follows the WCPSS dress code policy, although at the high school level, this is quite difficult to support without support from students and parents,¨ said Boshoff.

Let’s be very clear– no one is saying that Dress Code is lousy; the issue with it is the way it discriminates against minorities and women. When a system has been made to work against you and you work hard to combat that system only for another thing to knock you back down is disheartening.

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