It is sad how school dress codes are implemented. School dress codes allow a student to express themselves and how they feel about themselves and the culture they are living in. Whether it is expressing their attitudes towards comfort, fashion, tradition, or gender expression. When a principle or administration enforces a school dress code they are unknowingly suppressing a child’s ability to be creative. When students are not able to outwardly express themselves it lowers their self-esteem and creativity. While some people would say that having a dress code is a good thing because it does not differentiate the poor (low-income) students from the rich (high-income) students. In this case, roughly ninety percent of Franklin High Schools’ students are not sitting on the high or low side of the income scale. Most of our students sit right in the middle-class range.
This leaves behind a small amount of students who would not be able to, as some would say, Dress to impress. If all the females attending Franklin High were handed a survey and asked to fill out questions and write a short response on how they felt about the high school dress code; an extremely high percentage of the students would comment the same thing as Samantha Senter (a sophomore attending Franklin high) said about the dress code. Senter commented claiming that, the boys have it easy-they get to wear a t-shirt and shorts and it is ?acceptable’ and considered ?non-distracting’- We are told that our clothes are ?too distracting’ for the boys in our school. All that does is enforce the idea that we should feel guilty for what guys look at and comment. Senter’s quote only further explains the point that dress codes are not only suppressing creativity but lower the self-esteem of many girls on campus and off. When asking the males that attend Franklin High School few spoke to complain about the dress code. It was then summed down to two very simple reasons; the boys are not seen as a ?distraction’ to the girls.
And as Senter stated earlier, it is seen as socially acceptable for the boys to wear knee length shorts and a t-shirt. Not only is it comfortable for them to wear but it is easy to find a put on. When a girl dresses or shops for school she must spend a large amount of unnecessary time making sure that what she wears and buys is dress code appropriate and will not create a distraction to some males learning environment In March 2014over five hundred students at Haven Middle School in Evanston, Illinois”signed a petition opposing what they had been told was a full ban on leggings and yoga pants ( huffingtonpost.com ).
From a logical point of view, although this ban would have good effects. But when fully examining the situation, the negatives highly outweigh the positives. As an example, if the ban had been passed, not only would girls have forced to wear jeans, they would most likely be told that the item of clothing they had on their lower body was too tight or a distraction to the learning environment of others. As a result, the girls would have to resort to baggy jeans, tanking their self- esteem. In May of 2014, thirty female and male students, were sent home after protesting the dress code by wearing tank tops on an extremely hot day.(huffington.com). After the incident, teachers only used it against the students to show how easily boys can be distracted by a simple shoulder.
A student at the middle school by the name of Maddie Pynn was taken aback by the schools claims and spoke the school is making the boys out to be uncontrolled horny monsters. As she continued commenting she went on to say, I am not saying that it is okay for girls to come to school with their butts and chests hanging out but there has to be a happy medium, girls just want to be comfortable”a shoulder should not make anyone uncomfortable and if it does, you are the problem. ( huffington.com ). All in all, school dress codes should not be enforced on students because it lowers their self-esteem, creativity, and subjects students to the feelings of guilt and shame.
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