The School Dress Code

School dress codes have recently received a lot of attention in the media. Debates over what students should and shouldn’t be able to wear have spawned at schools all over the U.S. Traditionally, school dress codes were implemented in schools to teach students how to dress appropriately and professionally. Recently, however, the common philosophy of dress codes has become a bit unclear. Many people are beginning to question whether dress codes are put in schools to teach professionalism or are if they are being created to try and eliminate possible “distractions” to a learning environment.

Some schools have sought to solve this debate by having school uniforms. However, at other schools, like New Way, students are not required to wear a uniform, but have common rules students are to follow when dressing for school. The dress code at New Way is as follows: For girls, all tank tops straps must be at least the width of three fingers, no midriff can be showing, shorts length must reach to at least the tips of your fingers, no undergarments can be showing, and no leggings can be worn without a long shirt. For boys, no tank tops are allowed and no undergarments can be showing. For all students, no inappropriate signs or language can be present on clothing. The consequence for too short shorts, leggings, or tank tops is a warning, and occasionally you will be asked to change your clothing into something the office provides that will better fit the dress code.

Over my time at New Way, I have heard many differing opinions on the dress code. To find out students really think about their school’s dress code, I conducted a poll. In total, there are 62 responses, and the results are an interesting mix of opinions. The first question is general and asks how the students feel about the dress code. 55% said that they thought it was fine how it is, while 39% said they feel it is too strict. In an interesting contrast to the first question, only 21% of the students said they feel the dress code benefits the school academically, while 52% said no. When pertaining to which gender the students feel can follow the dress code most easily, 97% said they feel it is easier for boys to follow. The next question asked the students if they personally had ever been dress coded. 70% said no, while 30% replied that they had. For the final multiple choice question, I wanted to address something I have had students talk to me about before; the level of enforcement the teachers should place on students according to the dress code. In the poll, 54 out of 62 students said they feel the dress code is already enforced enough, while 13% said they feel the teachers could be a little stricter when it comes to enforcing the dress code. At the end of the poll, I included an area where students could write any remaining comments they had about the dress code. While some people responded that they feel they should be able to wear whatever they want, others replied that they think the dress code benefits students.
This was a very interesting poll to conduct, and thank you to everyone who participated. If you did not fill out the form, what are your views on the dress code? Do you think it is time to update the dress code to be adapted more to modern times, or do you feel the dress code creates a better and more professional environment in school? Controversial dress codes have been a popular topic in the media, drawing attention to some of the worst qualities of school dress regulations, but do you feel that really applies to New Way’s dress code? If you do feel strongly about your rights within the dress code, I encourage you to first learn more about why dress codes are in place, and then possibly advocate for yourself and students around you if you still feel passionate about the topic.

Thank you for reading, and tune in to the next issue of New Way News for more articles, polls, and reviews