Stripping down the dress code

Sara Schleede, Staffer

When it comes to school punishment, house offices become a purgatory for those who forget their IDs and break dress code.

Those heinous gray baggy sweatpants turn passing periods into walks of shame. The sweats are doled out as if to expose dress code wrongdoers. When kids get detentions it isn’t written on their forehead, so why should dress code punishment be so blatant and humiliating?

Some days, house offices have attended to so many ripped-jean-and-short-skirt clad teen girls that they have run out of the unstylish pants alternative. So much time is taken up enforcing dress code that the emphasis has become not being a good student but dressing the part as one.

The fact of the matter is, there are more important things to worry about in school than clothing. Teachers are there to teach and students to learn; school hours don’t need to be spent playing dress up. With constant due dates, quizzes and tests, the average student’s mind is focused on things other than finding sweaters to cover up spaghetti strap tops.

Most dress code rules regard females. Sure, boys aren’t allowed to have unkempt facial hair and sag their pants, but the list of restrictions against girl’s clothing is never ending. No tank tops. No halter tops. No leggings. No skirts or shorts past mid thigh. No bare midriffs. The list goes on.

All of these rules are created to prevent distractions and create a modest learning environment, insinuating that the school population will not be able to learn properly with a bare shoulder or belly button in sight.

A sweater with an itchy tag is distracting. Bare shoulders are not.

It would be reasonable for the school to have a problem with girls dressing like one of Nicki Minaj’s backup dancers, school just isn’t the place to bear it all. However, the strict dress code rules imply that girls should hide themselves to be serious students, as well as help guys be serious students who aren’t ogling at short skirts.

This standard is unfair to both males and females. Girls shouldn’t make their clothing decisions based on how they affect guys, and guys aren’t Neanderthals drooling over girls. The idea that girls should cover their shoulders and hide their legs so that boys aren’t sent into a frenzy is ridiculous.

There are stories in the news all the time about girls being harshly punished for one dress code violation. Just recently a sophomore in Florida was forced into a baggy t-shirt and red sweats with “dress code violation” written across the front after her nearly to-the-knees skirt was deemed too short. The schools that are doing things like this are prioritizing correct clothing over a student’s education. Sure, if the girls are getting sent home after repeatedly breaking the rules they deserve that punishment. Rules are rules. However, no matter what rule is being broken, being immediately sent home because of it is excessive and unfair.

This dress code madness and confusion needs to stop. Let’s stop handing out ugly gray sweatpants like free samples at a grocery store. Let’s focus on learning rather than focus on the outer appearance, and teach the idea that girls are not displays for boys, and boys are not slaves to their hormones.