School dress codes may be doing more harm than good
School dress code has potential to be helpful, but at most schools it is very restrictive and sexist. Many schools around the country have had protests to fight for a more fair and reasonable dress code. One main reason behind the movement against dress codes is because it can be a form of sexualizing girls’ bodies.
If a teacher tells a girl to put on a sweatshirt because she has too much cleavage showing, it is implying that someone could be distracted by her body. It is not only inappropriate to sexualize students at such a young age, but could also make them self conscious.
“I never see boys getting called out for wearing tank tops or ripped jeans. But if a girl wears them, she will get dress-coded and humiliated in front of everyone,” said Zainab Alkhanfar, sophomore.
Every school’s dress code differs, but some of the same rules stay constant such as girls cannot show too much of their shoulders, their shorts must be as long as where their fingertips fall, no ripped jeans, no tight clothing. Teachers claim that these things are distracting, and can interfere with learning.
“I understand that some clothing is too revealing or has inappropriate words on it, but if a teacher is criticizing students for how their body fits into a shirt or the fact that their tank top straps are not three fingers wide, that’s when I don’t understand it,” said Enzo Moscatello, freshman.
Many students agree that it is uncomfortable when a teacher dress codes you and makes you feel self conscious. If a school staff member finds students’ bodies distracting, they should not be teaching. Girls who are subjected to unjust dress code requirements are more likely to experience negative emotions such as shame and anxiety. If repeated, it could eventually lead to long-term psychological harm. It is unfair to have girls most targeted with the rules of dress code and create such a dilemma over someone’s outfit at school.
“I feel bad for my friends at other schools that have a strict dress code. They complain about how they can’t wear the new shirt they bought for school, because of the way it fits their body or even the small amount of skin it shows,” said Diya Bhatia, freshman.
Students struggle to get ready for school in the morning due to the fact that they always have to be thinking about dress code rules. It eliminates the strength of diversity from the school and limits the options on how students can express themselves.
If a student gets in trouble for wearing something that violates the dress code, their detention or even suspension can take focus away from education. Colleges will look at these types of situations and not know the reasoning behind it.
There are definitely reasonable rules in normal dress codes such as no offensive or inappropriate designs, or no extremely baggy or bulky clothing (prevents students from hiding weapons). But many of the standard norms are restrictive and unneeded for students to concentrate in school.
Better safe than sorry
School uniforms are not liked by many because some believe it restricts creativity and prevents students from expressing themselves. Some people fail to realize that it can be very helpful at times and could potentially save lives.
According to a poll from Be Safe, school uniforms increase student safety by 50%. Having students wear uniforms makes it easier for administrators to distinguish trespassers from the students. Faculty and students are told not to allow anyone who is not wearing school identification access to the school. Since everyone would be wearing the same uniform, it would be easy to distinguish someone that is out of place.
Having students wear uniforms also benefits parents. Back to school shopping happens all year long and can get pricey, especially if you have many kids. Although school uniforms require money, parents would be saving more by buying a school uniform for their student than spending money on back to school clothes yearly. With the saved money, you could spend it on more necessary things such as your students’ education, or funding for your students to join clubs or sports teams which could get them scholarships for college.
Wearing school uniforms enhances school spirit, pride, and unity. They show that you are supporting your community. According to a poll from Our Family World, having everyone wearing the same colors lowers risk of bullying by 30-50%. Bullying is usually targeted at students who appear to be “less fashionable” or “less trendy” than other students.
Some would argue that uniforms limit creativity and expression in the form of clothing, but that statement is not completely true. School uniforms provide a wide variety of different clothing for both girls and boys. For example, girls have the choice of wearing a skirt, dress, or long legged pants with a shirt. Boys have the choice of wearing a button up collared shirt with a tie or sweater vest with a blazer, all of which you could mix and match to your desire. Students could also add any sort of accessories they think may look good with their outfit.
Uniforms also keep you focused on school. Sometimes students wear clothes that could be a distraction during class. The uniforms the school designs keeps distractions to a minimum. Usually students dress to be trendy and impress others. Students lose focus in class because they are worried about what other people are wearing or thinking about their outfit. The uniforms make it limited for students to judge what other students are wearing because they are all wearing the same thing.
Usually kids wake up, get ready for school, get out of their house in a rush to get on their form of transportation in barely enough time. Having students wear uniforms makes getting ready for school easy. You do not have to worry about what to wear each morning.
School uniforms can be annoying and get boring at times but it is good to keep in mind that although they are not some students’ favorite thing about school, they are there for a reason and the school and students safety is the number one priority when uniforms are required.