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What is a School’s Role with Dress Codes?

Sarah Corneck

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Back in the day, there were dress codes all over the place.
Girls couldn’t walk out of the house if their skirts went above the knee. No one was allowed to wear crop tops. Even showing your collarbone was prohibited.

But not anymore.

“Bedford has dress guidelines, not a dress code,” says principal Dr. Adam Rosen. “Our dress guidelines were formed to keep our school community safe and a place of learning.”

The Bedford dress code is, more often than not, more about guidelines than a strict set of rules that must be followed.

In the handbook it states that “high heels and flip flops are discouraged,” and that “no article of clothing that is inappropriately revealing is permitted.”

But what does this mean?

Some teachers have their own rules and interpretations of the dress code, like the rule that “shorts should extend down to the length of your arm.” This says that all shorts, for both boys and girls, must be at least past the length of your fingers when you hold your arm down by your side.

This, although not expressly stated in the dress guidelines, is also not a very strict rule as most teachers choose to let violations slide.

Dr. Rosen believes that, “the dress code isn’t really a problem at Bedford. It’s uncommon to have a student who gets in actual trouble for dress code.”

The dress guidelines, no matter how many outfits teachers ignore, tend to be a real quarrel, especially among girls. Nowadays the trend of girl’s fashion is to make shorts shorter and crop tops smaller, and it’s tough to tell where to draw the line.

Many female students believe that it’s unfair how most of the guidelines in the dress code are strictly targeted at girls, and they have way more restrictions than boys.

“I think it’s unfair how girls have more restrictions than boys,” says eighth grader Hannah Even.

However, some think that the restrictions are a good idea to stop inappropriate outfits from getting out of hand and that boys simply don’t need as many restrictions.

“It may be unfair that the dress code seems to be directed at girls, but in the real world, people judge you by how you dress and students need to get used to that,” says eighth grader Caroline Russell.

Dr. Rosen and the rest of the Bedford staff is aware of this issue and tried as hard as they could to create a dress code that is the perfect balance between respectable and still give students the freedom to wear what they want.

“There is a certain culture here at Bedford. We want kids to be able to express themselves,” says Dr. Rosen. “We ask our students to partner with us to create a high learning environment.”

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What is a School’s Role with Dress Codes?