Dress code always an issue in high school

Angel Hernandez and Travis Ogurek , Reporters

As we all know, the dress code has been in place for as long as we could remember. The dress code is essentially what is deemed appropriate to wear at school. 

When students get dress-coded, they don’t get to voice their opinions; rather, they just have to follow the policy. Because of this, we took it upon ourselves to allow the students’ voices to be heard.

A significant number of students agreed that there is gender bias in the dress code. Junior Julia Harrington said that teachers think guys care about girls’ clothes more than they actually do. 

“I’d just want to see more equality between men and women because it’s not girls’ fault if boys want to look at shoulders more than focus on the class,” she said. “Teachers think that boys will go crazy if a skirt is too short or you can see their shoulders but I don’t think guys care.”

Throughout the interviews for this story, we noticed that Julia was correct — guys do not have many issues with the dress code. 

“After hearing all these people’s stories, I’ve never like been even talked to about the dress-code ever in my life,” said junior Sahi Rimmalapudi said. “I’ve never been dress-coded or anything like that and I’m a dude. And like I wear pretty short shorts and things like that.”

In terms of dress code for athletics, how much skin is being exposed during practice is more or so up to the teacher/coach; however, that doesn’t mean it’s enforced equally. 

“So I was in track last year and we were in the weight room,” said junior Lauren Stadtmueller. “And it was so hot that people could pass out. We were all so warm because we had just run in 80 degree weather. And we go into the weight room and the girls take off their shirts and wear sports bras, like really covering sports bras. And we get yelled at and we had to put our shirts back on, but the guys were lifting shirtless.”

We talked to Mrs. Jadin-Rice, DPHS assistant principal, to clarify some of the policies and issues. While every teacher is different, she provides how the ideal dress coding should work. 

She said that students should only be approached on the matter when in direct violation. With that said, straps are a must, undergarments shouldn’t be visible and most importantly, Jadin-Rice said, “References to drugs and alcohol, and anything that would be considered harassment or inflammatory … are not allowed.”

The dress code was designed to help prevent distractions that students could create, but why does it seem like most of the rules regarding clothing apply to women more than men?

The dress and grooming rules in the student handbook state: “The following styles of dress are not acceptable for students: strapless tops, tops/shirts with an open back, under clothing which is visible, and excessive amount of leg showing and any other item in which the stomach/belly is visible.”

Students were asked about the fairness of these rules.

“If you look up the definition of distraction it is a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else,” said junior Skylar Bean. “I feel like if what I’m wearing is preventing you from giving your full attention to learning, then you shouldn’t have your phone, you shouldn’t be sitting by your friends. All of those things should be taken away.”

Rimmalapudi agreed, saying that distractions are everywhere. 

“The topic of distractions shouldn’t really be an issue because there are so many other distracting things like our phones or loud people in class,” he said. “There are so many other things that could be called a distraction. I don’t think clothing is really one of them.”