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The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

How Central’s controversial dress code exposes a generational divide

How+Centrals+controversial+dress+code+exposes+a+generational+divide
Cris Bataillon

I have been at Central High for two years, and previously, the dress code has never been enforced. Yet, during the first weeks of school, with heat indexes reaching close to 115 degrees, primarily female students were told that their clothing was inappropriate for school. School should not be the place where students feel ashamed by what they are wearing; learning should be the only worry.  

I conducted a survey for the student body of Central to respond to the issues of the dress code, and I received 54 responses. Seventy-Five percent of the people surveyed were dress-coded for showing their torso, and showing one’s torso is against the OPS Code of Conduct. Since this has been in place for many years, the question I turned to is why it only started being enforced this year. I had gotten no responses from teachers and administrators other than that the dress code is the policy and that they are told to remind students of it. Some of the teachers that dress code students often make students feel as if they have been shamed for what they are wearing. Camila Doña-Muñoz said, “I got pulled aside and told that what I picked out to wear that morning, which I felt confident and pretty in, was wrong, and it totally ruined my self-confidence for the day.”  

 I feel as if there is a generational divide between the students and teachers at Central. The generation of high school students think of torsos as normalized. We as a generation constantly see influencers wearing more “revealing” clothing that shows torsos and shoulders. Advertisements only show baby tees and crop tops. Generational perspectives of appropriateness are one reason students feel upset about being dress-coded. Teachers who are decades older grew up in a society that had a stricter idea about what one should look like when in a school environment. Some of these teachers have told females with a crop top on to put a jacket on during the heat advisory. 

 Within the survey, 20% of people surveyed responded that they had been dress-coded, and of these, 60% mentioned how uncomfortable they felt that a teacher was commenting on what they were wearing. In addition, many students mentioned how they were upset that Central began enforcing the dress code during a heat advisory. Central senior Marissa Wiese was dress-coded during the triple-digit weather and said, “[It] made me uncomfortable to think that me staying cool in such hot weather was considered to be inappropriate.” 

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 An alumnus, Nick Rock, my brother, said Central should enforce the dress coding of torsos. In work environments, there are dress codes in place that one must follow. He said. “We should be preparing students for what they will encounter in the future, and at the workplace, no one is able to walk around in short shorts and a crop top.” He also questioned that if torsos are okay, wouldn’t someone’s chest be okay as well?  

We as a generation have normalized torsos, chests are not normalized. While his perspective was interesting to hear, our student body is not learning in office buildings that have to abide by strict dress codes. Our students have the ability to express themselves with their choice of clothing. 

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About the Contributors
Becca Rock, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Becca Rock (she/her). I am a junior, this is my first year on The Register and I am on the copy-editing team. I was voted most likely to take a gap year to travel. A fun fact about me is that fall is my favorite season of the year because it reminds me of Gilmore Girls.
Cris Bataillon, Staff Photographer
Hi, my name is Cris Bataillon (he/him). I'm a senior, and this is my first year on The Register. I was selected for most likely to spontaneously buy a pet fish. My favorite restaurant is the Taste of India on Leavenworth.
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