How short is too short?

A call to update the district dress code

The majority of the student body find the dress code policy to be demeaning and counterproductive. Students are frustrated with the lack of freedom over their own bodies. They believe the dress code should be more easy going, like the current AISD policy, rather than strict and obsessively enforced. The dress code prevents teens from expressing themselves to the fullest extent, makes them feel insecure about their bodies, and is simply unreasonable in its current state. Changing the policy would promote student maturity by allowing students to make decisions for themselves.

Dress code policies have become increasingly strict, and this year the rules have been enforced in an authoritarian manor. While some argue that the dress code has a positive influence on the learning environment by preventing distraction, it actually stunts creativity and prevents the expression of self. Students use style and fashion to portray emotions. Dying your hair and piercing your body are forms of expression and representation. To limit someone’s freedom over their own body is outrageous, and frankly not the message adults should be sending to adolescents.

Students shouldn’t wake up with the constant worry over whether or not their clothes are suitable for the classroom. Rather, they should be focused on their education. The dress code in its current state conveys the feeling of fear and feeds insecurities. It teaches women to cover themselves and promotes the idea that their body is a distraction. I think it can send the wrong impression to girls that there’s something to be ashamed of, or that they’re sending the wrong message to boys and it’s the girls fault if the boys are distracted by their clothes,” an anonymous source said.   

The dress code was written for both male and female students. However, most of the rules target women’s clothing, not men’s. For this reason, girls find the dress code to be extremely unfair and sexist. The students’ intention is not to enforce stricter regulations on boys, but to simply abandon the mindset that girls are a distraction.

It is clear that the dress code cannot be completely scrapped, but the district could compromise with students by lifting the ban on hair coloring and piercings, similar to adjacent school district’s dress codes. While this does not address all concerns about the ethics of the dress code, it does allow students to be more expressive, and that is a start. “Even the small changes would make a huge difference in the way you are allowed to express yourself,” junior Stella Yull said.