February 23, 2012

Dress Code

Dress Code- The word that all middle schoolers and high schoolers are going to hear at least 50 times in their adolescent years. It’s the dreaded word that’s usually paired with “not”, and  you know will be followed by a scolding and a trip to the office for a change of clothes. But how often is the dress code correct? Many believe that the dress code is flawed. The only way to settle this controversial subject is to get opinions from both sides.
To start off, I interviewed Jose. He recalls being called out for sagging, though he claims it was 100% unintentional. I asked him whether the dress code rules were fair. He replied “Kids should be able to express themselves because it’s middle school. The dress code isn’t fair, a lot of the times.”
I then ask Asuka a few questions, a victim to the biased side of the dress code. She tells me how once she got called out for her shorts, but they were definitely moderate. “The finger-tip rule for shorts isn’t fair. Some people have longer arms, and other people have shorter arms. If we base the dress-code rule off of the length of arms, then a lot of people are going to be called out for decent pants, and a lot of people are going to get away with inappropriate shorts.”
To get the opinion from the “other side”, I interviewed Mrs. Hounshell, the 6B science teacher. I tell her about a few cases of unfair dress code and she agrees that sometimes it can be unreasonable. But she then tells me why dress code needs to be enforced. “Students need to know what’s appropriate and inappropriate.”
I understand the perspective of Mrs. Hounshell and the rest of the teachers about dress code, but at the same time, I don’t. Why not adjust the dress code so that no student will be targeted? Students have been cowering in fear because of the dress code, knowing that they have no power against it, even if the dress code is unfair to them. The conclusion is that the dress-code isn’t fair/reasonable to students. Some students are at a disadvantage to the dress code, whether they know it or not. The dress code is being unfairly applied to people and that isn’t right. We will continue to work for our rights to express ourselves without having to worry about being prey to the unjust dress code.

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