Dress codes: Problematic or not?

Wherever you have gone to school, you have probably heard of/been affected by dress codes. Dress codes are a rule at certain schools that puts in specific orders on what a student can and can’t wear. If the clothing of a student is deemed inappropriate , they are usually punished. Now there are cases where a student should be punished for their clothing choices. For example if they’re wearing something with explicit language or pictures, or a message that can be seen as hateful to a group of people. But that’s not the problem, the problem is that people are being penalized for clothes that ‘dont match’ their assigned gender or clothing that is seen as sexual, on a minor. 

Private schools usually enforce a dress code with uniforms, where boys and girls wear separate outfits. In these cases, a boy may be punished for wearing a skirt that is meant for a girls uniform. But what if this “boy” identifies as a female, and she feels more comfortable while wearing a skirt. Why should staff tell her that isnt aloud, that because she was born a boy she cant wear what she wants. In the long run, no one can be stopped from disagreeing with transgender people, but you can still respect them even if you dont agree with them. 

Students are often dress coded if their clothing is seen as sexual. Why are full grown adults looking at children wearing skirts, tank tops, etc and deeming it revealing? It makes sense if the said student is nearly naked but why are a 13 year old’s shoulders sexual in the first place? According to First Coast News, 83% of dress code violations are targeted at females. Boys can go as far as taking off their shirts during school and not getting in trouble for it, how is this seen as fair?

Some may believe that a student’s clothing may distract others/affect learning. People should be allowed to wear what they want and not be blamed if it “distracts’ ‘ someone else. If anything the distracted person should be held accountable for staring at someone instead of focusing on their work. Students arent trying to attract sexual attention by the clothing they wear 99% of the time. 

Students and staff should be taught to respect others’ clothing choices. No matter if it doesn’t match their criteria of what someone should be wearing, they have no right to make harsh or sexual comments. It should be the norm to accept others and their choices. School is meant to nurture us, not bring us down.

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