Fashion Op-Ed: How To Stay Within Dress Code
Something that all grades at PHS have in common is the fear of getting “dress-coded.”
The chances of getting dress-coded usually increase in the beginning of the school year and at the very end of the year due to warm-weather fashion trends.
This year, a new policy regarding the dress code has surfaced: the first time a student is “dress-coded,” for a minor reason, they receive a warning. However, if that same students’ clothes are deemed inappropriate a second time, detention is assigned. But how are a students’ clothes decided upon, and is this new rule too strict?
Some students, like Gracie Diaz, a Sophomore at PHS, are unaware about the new dress code rule: “I think that’s dumb, the hardest part [about getting ready] is worrying about if I’m going to get dress coded for what I wear.”
According to the Perrysburg High School handbook in the Student Behavior Code, the dress code rules are:
1. Shoes must be worn at all times. No slippers should be worn to school.
2. No hats, or bandanas, or the like. may be worn in the building during school hours unless it is a designated spirit day. Hooded sweatshirts are allowed, but the hood must be worn down.
3. Student’s dress/appearance including length, style, skin exposure, etc. should be appropriate for a high school educational setting. Micro mini skirts and short shorts are not permitted along with midriff tops. Shirts/tops should not be low cut or revealing and should have a sleeve. Pants and jeans should be worn at the waist without sagging. No undergarments should show at any time.
4. Clothing with offensive language, graphics, and drug, alcohol or tobacco related references will not be permitted.
5. Chains are not permitted as well as jewelry/accessories with spikes, points or sharp edges.
6. No student shall be permitted to wear or display any clothing, jewelry, insignia, or other items, which identify a student as a member of a gang or symbolize support of a gang.
7. No costume clothing permitted unless it is a designated school spirit day.
8. Large purses and book bags are to be kept in the student’s locker throughout the school day. One laptop case or bag of similar size may be carried.
Any student whose appearance is considered unhealthy, unsafe, unclean, disruptive or inappropriate shall be sent to the office or asked to remedy the problem. At the administrators’ discretion, students may be required to wear T-shirts inside out, issued a discipline action and/or contact parents to bring in appropriate clothing. If parents are not available, students will be removed from the regular class setting until appropriate clothing is available (*See above).
The issue that students have with these guidelines is the ambiguity in the handbook. How do administrators measure the “disruptive or inappropriate nature” of a midriff top or shorts? This seems to be the reason most girls are dress coded.
Mrs. Janice Ray, Dean of Students also confirmed that the staff at PHS has access to a Google document to refer the names of students whose outfits are deemed inappropriate. According to Ray, crop tops are the majority of the violations, about 65% of the infractions.
My goal is to help the number of students being dress coded decrease while helping them feel good about the way they look. To avoid being dress coded for wearing a crop top, try high waisted pants. That way your shirt doesn’t look too short. You could also wear a jacket or blazer to cover up some skin.
Off-the-shoulder tops are allowed as long as students wear a bralette or tank top underneath.
Shorts are a tricky matter. In my opinion, the finger-tip length is excessive and unrealistic; however, finding shorts in today’s stories that are long enough to cover up the necessary body parts is challenging.
Spaghetti straps are not allowed because the dress code states all shirts must have a sleeve. However, students are less likely to get dress coded if a jacket is worn.
Ray stated administration is going to consider the two-finger width rule on tank tops, shirts, and dresses.
Paige Krabbenbos, a junior, finds it difficult to choose outfits that adhere to the dress code: “I have a lot of shirts that I got over the summer that are off-the-shoulder that I can’t wear — also a lot of shirts that have thin straps that I can’t wear either which is a waste of money.”
According to Ray, administration’s reasoning for the dress code is to keep school attire appropriate: “…it’s hard to transition from summer to school year. It’s hard to buy clothes that are appropriate… and it’s hard — I get it — I see what’s in the stores. I see [students] have [only] so much money to spend on clothes.”
But Ray points out that students, “…still [try] to be respectful of everyone and limit distractions or disruptions to the whole educational process. Would you be allowed to wear a belly shirt to work? If you were working in an office setting, would they allow that?… [We are] trying to think of school as [our] workplace…”
Now that the high school is almost a month into the school year, and with the trends that are currently in style, students have to be careful when dressing for the school day so that they are not reported and/or given a detention if it is that students second offense.
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