School Dress Code Remains Static in the Changing World of Fashion


Fashion has evolved, and does not fit today’s styles and standards.


Dress code, by definition, is “a set of rules, usually written and posted, specifying the required manner of dress at a school, office, club, restaurant, etc.”


Recently, I was dress coded for wearing a cropped sweater and high waisted jeans. The sweater was slightly off of my shoulder, and I paired it with a navy blue undershirt and red high top converse shoes. This was not the first time I wore the sweater to school, but this time an administrator had a problem with it. I was in the hallway when a teacher very abruptly told me my outfit was “unacceptable” and that she would escort me to the office.


I was told to sit and wait for the administrator in charge of dress code. Finally, after missing 25 minutes of my class, she took me to get a t-shirt to put over my shirt. I decided that there was no point in staying at school since most of my last class had already been wasted.


I understand completely that there is a standard to what should and shouldn’t be worn in public, but there are three concerns I would like to address with Richland 2’s dress code. The first is the priority it is given over learning. Students come to school because they want to to get an education that will help them succeed in life. The adhering to the dress code is not more important than preparing for lifelong success. Richland 2’s dress code policy states, “students may not continue to attend class wearing inappropriate clothing.” No student should be denied an education based on what they are wearing.


The dress code is not fairly enforced among students. There are many different races and body types and so clothing fits differently on everyone. Because of the subjectiveness of the policy, it is very difficult to enforce the dress code fairly among the students. In multiple places in Richland 2’s dress code it says “all students,” but I have seen many students get away with rule-breaking apparel while others are not addressed.


The final issue is that teachers and administrators often don’t follow the rules on how to address dress code concerns as stated in the school handbook. It states, “our goal is to provide a comfortable, safe and non-confrontational environment is provided for all students.” However, I did not experience a safe and non-confrontational environment. I was treated very rudely and it was quite embarrassing.


School dress code needs to be adjusted. It is very outdated and completely unfair. Students should to take a stand against the board policy and get the dress code standards updated to fit today’s style and public standards.