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LindseyG GCL

United States

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Dress Code

March 17, 2016

    Today, school dress code has become unfair for students, especially girls. Many school districts have put a ban on certain clothing items for girls only such as, skinny jeans, leggings and form fitting shirts. The reason for this prohibition is because these articles of clothing can be “distracting” for boys. At some schools if a boy wore skinny jeans it would be acceptable, but if a girl wears skinny jeans, she would be promoting sexual harassment. Girls are getting body-shamed and criticized because of their clothing choice. These rules and codes are very sexist, and I believe that that dress code rules at schools should not prevent any student from dressing how they want. I am not saying that girls should be allowed to come to school in bikinis, but all students should be able to dress freely without getting in trouble.
    At Mendenhall Junior High, skinny jeans were apparently against the rules and one 13 year old student, Hannah Smith wanted to get them back. Nowhere in their dress code does it ever mention skinny jeans or anything similar. Hannah wore them to school one day and was sent home. Hannah’s mother was the one who was really bothered by this, "My big issue is, if the school has a problem with skinny jeans, why not send out a notice to all parents and give them a month to buy more pants instead of singling them out? The standards for appearance need to be nearly impossible to misinterpret. The handbook should describe the clothes that are specifically offensive and not leave it up to the arbitrary discretion of some administrator.”
    Deputy superintendent of the district, Tom Duncan responded to this, in what I believe is a very ____  answer. "If we refer specifically to skinny jeans, next year we will have to specify the next fashion that comes along," he said. "And while skinny jeans may look fine on a fifth-grader, they may create a distraction in the classroom on an older child; and that's where we would draw the line." As you can see, the superintendent is saying that an older girl wearing skinny jeans is a distraction, but on a younger girl they are acceptable. Why should a girl, of any age, have to change what she wants to wear because some boys are getting distracted by their clothing? This sounds like a problem for the boys and not the girls. By taking away clothing girls like to wear, can discard the idea of creativity for some people. Many people, myself included like to express myself through my clothing. If most of the things I want to wear are taken away, how can I do that? This can be compared to taking away an artist’s paintbrush. How can they paint?
    There is another side to having a dress code though. Students like to dress in fashionable clothing and it can get pretty expensive. Having a dress code implemented, prevents any student from feeling left out if they can not afford these popular trends. Having a dress code or school uniform is proven to reduce bullying. While I see this side of the argument, in my perspective it isn’t about letting students wear higher cost or name brand clothing, but letting students dress how they want to.

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