All students express themselves in the way they dress.

Dress De-Code

March 31, 2023

Shorts, tank tops, and baggy pants-all qualify as violations of dress codes at high schools around the United States. Every school in America enforces a dress code law that limits what students can wear. Other countries, such as South Korea and Malaysia, are strictly set on uniforms which students are required to wear every day. These laws should be abolished in America because not only does it restrict students from wearing the clothing they already own, but it also exposes the unfair treatment of genders and sexualizes primarily women.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20% of public schools require students to wear a uniform and 44% of those schools enforce their laws on dress codes. Hoover High has a dress code where students are not allowed to wear any exposed clothing, show undergarments, or items with more than 50% red or royal blue.

As to where tank tops, shorts, and revealing clothing breach the codes, there are a lot of students who roam around campus violating these codes. When it comes to outfits, girls seem to have more of a disadvantage than boys do. Comparing outfits, most boys wear less revealing clothing, but either have pants sagging or undergarments exposed. Yet, they are able to walk to class and finish school with no warnings or having to be told to pull their pants up.

On the other hand, girls wear outfits that are more exposing than guys but do not violate any rules. If a girl shows a tad bit of skin, she often gets sent out of class, which takes away academic time. She then returns to class with a more “appropriate” outfit.  Usually, the loaner clothes are not the perfect fit and are often baggy and uncomfortable. Having a student miss class for something not even related to their education should not be allowed. Either way, it is a lose-lose situation for girls.

If a centimeter of skin is showing, apparently it is counted as “too distracting,” which is an overused word by the staff. Nothing is too distracting. The person who is being distracted should stop looking and pay attention to their lessons or anything else but that person’s skin. To those wearing clothing that shows their skin, it is not their fault they are being directly stared at by an eye they cannot control.

Dress coding for skin exposure should stop. Noticing that one’s skin is popping out should be none of the person’s business. If the school staff manages to catch that, why are they staring there in the first place and why does it bother them, especially towards girls with their bra straps showing or their chest area exposed. They are sexualizing a person because of something they could not keep their eyes away from.

Especially in high school, our fashion and style are the way we express ourselves. School is supposed to be a place where we should feel safe and focus on our academic careers, but it seems like a place where people are more concerned about a student’s outfit than their education. School should be where students learn to interact and connect with peers. Students have the right to feel safe in their school environment, but it seems like school focuses how revealing a student’s outfit is rather than a student’s education.

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