In 90 degree weather, students often opt to dress lightly for the day. Whether choosing to wear a t-shirt or shorts, students’ outfits are guided by the dress code, rules that are not one hundred percent benefiting students.
The official school website lists some prohibited articles of clothing, ranging from gang-related garment to distracting jewelry. These guidelines, however, divert most of their attention to female clothing.
Shoulder-revealing tops, along with tank tops with straps less than two inches wide, are not allowed. Although these protocols are meant to prohibit “clothing which disrupts the educational process,” they are not often seen being enforced in extreme situations. Female students often receive warnings when their shorts may be too short or when their tank top straps are too thin, but male students do not seem to have as many dress codes pertaining to them. Male students can often be spotted wearing tank tops on campus, but they are not dress-coded as often as female students.
These guidelines are in place to ensure a safe and distraction-free environment, but for students, getting dress-coded can be embarrassing. Students are sometimes forced to change into loaner clothes because of coming off as inappropriate, but the majority of others experience this simply because they decided to adjust to the hot weather. With classes already being challenging enough for some students, being forced to take a trip to the office to change not only cuts into their learning time, but it also humiliates them.
Weather often influences what students wear and they should not be punished for wanting to feel comfortable in their school environment. Freshman Alondra Zubiate was forced to change into loaner clothes once, with many other times resulting in warnings. These incidents have led her and other students alike to become paranoid on a daily basis. When they walk by advisers and authority figures, these students feel the need to keep their jackets on no matter how hot the weather might be. This sense of paranoia should not exist, as rules should invoke a sense of safety, not fear.
Rules are set in place to refrain students from presenting themselves in an obscene or inappropriate manner, but many situations applicable to these codes are generally creating more distractions. Students usually have an understanding of the code, but when they do get dress-coded, wearing loaner clothes around the school and facing their peers might cause more chaos than compared to straps thinner than two inches. Either way, dress codes should not exist simply because a student’s shoulders may distract others from a lesson.
Students should not be able to wear anything their hearts desire, but they should be able to feel comfortable in school. While still regulating these rules, students should not be worried about their clothing choices interfering with their education.