Courtesy of TODAY
Skyline’s Dress Code
Why It Sucks
May 8, 2018
Now that it’s May, we are approaching summer weather. It’s 80 degrees outside, but I’m sweating because I’m not allowed to wear the shorts that keep me cool in this weather. I’m stuck wearing jeans. Administration, I know that we need some sort of dress policy. But Skyline’s current dress code isn’t working.
First off, at the very beginning of Skyline’s dress code standards, it states, “Due to continual problems being experienced in society and our schools with violence, gangs, sexual harassment, obscenity, drugs, alcohol, and several other concerns, we, as school administration, must continue to take steps to decrease the risk of future problems at Skyline…One of those steps involves the dress code…”
Here’s the thing: sexual harassment is the fault of the harasser and the harasser only. It is never, ever, the fault of the person being harassed, and this implies that the way someone dresses could “provoke” harassment.
I’m sorry, but if someone is wearing something mildly revealing, that is the fault of the harasser if they are provoked by it. Instead of teaching us to prevent it by covering up, how about we teach people not to harass others? This is perpetuating rape culture. Period.
First off, we have shoulders. This dress code states that tops must be at least three inches wide across the shoulder, but I’ve never found a sleeveless top that has such wide straps.
Can someone explain to me how shoulders are a “distraction”? I would really love to know how my shoulders are deemed inappropriate. Especially in warm weather, I would love to wear a shirt that I don’t overheat in.
Next, we have my personal favorite: shorts. In the dress code, shorts must be below the fingertips. I have long arms, so any shorts that go below my fingertips are basically Bermuda shorts. This is going to sound shallow, but I hate wearing Bermuda shorts. They aren’t cute on me, and frankly, if I wore them, I’d get teased.
I can completely understand why booty shorts can’t be worn in school, but as long as shorts aren’t exposing any “parts”, they are fine. When it’s hot outside I don’t want to have to wear long pants. I would rather wear my shorts that I don’t overheat in. Are my thighs offensive? Again, please explain to me how my legs are inappropriate. Thanks.
Here is the part where people get mad: sexism. I’ve seen guys walking around the school in tank tops, unbuttoned shirts, and even no shirts. Guess what: they didn’t get dress coded. When so many of my friends, and myself, wear shorts that don’t expose anything but are a tiny bit shorter than our fingertips, we get dress coded.
That’s ridiculous. Apparently, it’s because we are “distracting people from learning”. If someone is distracted by what I am wearing, that is not my problem, it’s theirs. Stop blaming the wearer instead of the person who can’t control themselves.
When a girl is pulled out of a classroom because her outfit isn’t deemed “appropriate”, that is telling her that it is her fault that people are distracted by her clothing.
When dress codes are supposed to be improving education, they are doing the opposite. Pulling a girl out of class because of their clothing is telling them that boys’ education is more important than theirs, even though it is the boys’ fault for being distracted.
This is pulling a student away from a valuable learning experience. Again, perpetuating the serious problem of rape culture.
Here is a proposal for a new dress code:
- Clothing may not expose undergarments.
- Clothing may not depict references to drugs, gangs, or violence.
- Clothing may not disrespect or demean any culture, race, religion, gender, identity, or ethnicity.
- Clothing may not depict obscene language, symbols, or gestures.
As long as clothing doesn’t expose anything it shouldn’t it is appropriate. I don’t want to be told that my body is a distraction. I want to be comfortable and cool in hot weather.
I am tired of the dress code sexualizing girls’ bodies and telling us that we should cover up instead of teaching boys (or anyone) to stop looking and harassing. No matter what someone wears, they are always deserving of respect.
Link to SHS dress code policy: