Issues Over Dress Codes


With the warm weather coming, dress codes will be a hot topic here at BMS.

In fact, students across the country have been debating the issue of dress codes and are often unhappy about dress codes being unfair, sexist and targeted mainly towards female students.
Students complain that they’re clothes have been labeled by school officials as being too revealing and/or distracting, and this makes them feel awkward.

“I was wearing a tank top that was covering my stomach and went up to my collarbone and I was told to put a hoodie on—it was still hot outside—and it was uncomfortable to put a hoodie on. I never got an actual reason, I was just confused because I wasn’t wearing anything that was revealing.” said 8th grader Mary Baker.

Students are also upset because when asked “why,” the teachers and the school respond with reasons related to looking respectable in an office or place of employment, “We’re trying to prepare you students for a work environment when you grow up,” is how the issue was summarized at an 8th-grade pod meeting in the fall to students about rules.

This idea of linking clothes to work upsets students. Students point out that they can grow up to be anything and to tell them what to wear limits who they are as people.

“For every job, you have to dress differently,” said 8th grader Julian Gravelle, “For example, a businessman might have to wear a suit but I do not, or a model might have to wear a bikini so is it expected that someone with an interest in modeling should wear a bikini? Which proves that the statement doesn’t make sense.”

Sasha Jones, a reporter for “Education Week,” has studied the issue of dress codes in schools and believes there’s a problem between what teachers hope and what students believe.

“Schools with strict dress codes often claim that such regulations prevent in-class distractions, create a workplace-like environment, reduce pressures based on socioeconomic status, and deter gang activity, ‘ said Jones. “However, in an age of #MeToo and easy Internet access, controversy is increasingly cropping up over whether excluding students from the classroom for violating dress codes is worthwhile, and whether such rules are disproportionately enforced against girls, and especially those of color.”
Some students do see the value of dress codes and putting some limits on what can be worn.

“I think the school should have a moderate dress code because I believe there should be a restriction on certain things. For example, people shouldn’t be running around naked. But I think people should feel free to wear what they want when they want,“ said 8th grader Griffin Delmhorst.