The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Dress Codes Relevancy

November 8, 2018

High school students in 2018 are now more stressed than ever. They are constantly pushed to pursue secondary education, have a steady job, get eight hours of sleep each night, participate in extracurricular activities, get exercise regularly, and have a social life- all while trying to maintain decent grades at the same exact time. While for some students these high expectations are more attainable and easier to balance out, for many other students it can often get overwhelming and too much to handle- even causing mental and emotional problems.  Nonetheless, everyone gets stressed out at times- which is completely normal. But another normal thing for humans to do in a time of stress or crisis to turn to the things they love to relieve the stress- whether than means watching television while taking a break from doing homework or going on a run just depends on the person. But either way, students are encouraged to the things they love to relieve their stress and anxieties by their counselors and parents. But what about expressing their talents and creativity through their clothing? Does that not count as a hobby or creativity? While many teachers and school district staff members would agree that clothing is a way to express the mind and creativity, there are twice as many who would disagree with that statement- thus why many schools still heavily implement dress codes and policies. Are dress codes still necessary? Many of the viewpoints of teachers and students that are pro-dress codes feel as though having a dress code will prepare students for jobs in the near future. For instance, at a job they will 99.9% of the time enforce a strict dress code- with consequences for employees who purposefully choose not to follow company guidelines. And in the same aspect, students who purposefully choose to disregard the rules are punished. They argue that it teaches students responsibility and accountability for their actions. Another common argument stems from the fact that extremely strict dress codes found in many private schools can eliminate bullying in elementary school. As we all know many children in middle and elementary school tend to bully and harass other based off of their appearance and clothing choices. But with everyone wearing the same exact clothing, it makes it so that type of bullying is nearly deceased. But it can be argued that dress codes are sexist, in the way that they clearly target girls more than boys. For years girls have had to hear the same silly excuse that “their clothing choice is distracting the others from learning”, when it is clearly conveyed that boys are the ones that they are really referencing. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that more girls are embarrassingly dress coded in the hallways for their “short shorts” or “bare shoulders” from uptight teacher than the boys are. Students should be allowed to dress however they want as long as it is not offensive to others- in the manner of slang or inappropriate language (not how short someone’s shorts are). Graphic shirts with derogatory speech should not be allowed in the way that it could categorized with hate speech, but a short outfit really does not affect anyone other than the individual who chose to wear it. I think that schools should use common sense when it comes to dress codes. Impartiality and discernment should be taken into account. If a school is more concerned with how their students dress rather than actual important issues- that speaks in volumes. 

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