Are School Dress Codes a Good Idea?

February 16, 2020

School dress codes whether in middle or high school has been an ongoing counterargument for years. Questions like, “Does an outfit really distract students?” or “Are dress codes actually benefiting students?” surround high schools all over the country. 

While some agree that the dress code is to ensure girls will not be targeted sexually, others say that it really is not the females fault who is being objectified, but rather the males’. “Don’t tell the girls what to wear, tell the boys not to stare!” Is a quote issued out by feminists, common people, and teenage girls everywhere. Even then, there are still parts of the situation missing. Like the demand weighed on girls to have the “perfect body” or “in style clothes.” Not looking like everyone else can be a huge issue for many teen girls today, not because they choose too, but because they are pressured too. This is only a small point in the entire story- so to dig even deeper, there are a few opinions from Peggy Orenstein; a New York Times Bestselling author, as well as an internationally recognized gender-related issue speaker.  

Peggy says:  “Even as I object to the policing of girls’ sexuality, I’m concerned about the incessant drumbeat of self-objectification: the pressure young women face to view their bodies as the objects of others’ desires.”  

Every argument and opinion stated are only applied if the fact is faced that dress codes surround the topic of sex. It always has. Although the ideas of dress codes were designed for the focus of the image of the school and safety of the students, some dress codes in different areas have gotten to the point of being unbalanced, and unfair. Students should have the opportunity to express themselves in the way they dress, within reason. A student should not be sent home, or given detention, or in school suspension for breaking the dress code the first time. (unless it is extremely inappropriate or distracting.) Instead, they should be asked to change, or advised not to do it again unless they want to face punishment. 

Although many different schools and areas have different opinions on what dress code is appropriate and what isn’t, they all have the same goal. To keep learning a priority. Even if it isn’t handled the best by administrators at times. 

Sources: 

 https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/09/student-question-are-school-dress-codes-a-good-idea/

 

https://choices.scholastic.com/issues/2018-19/020119/are-school-dress-codes-fair.html

 

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