Is School Dress Code Harmful?


Kinley Porter, Staff Writer

Dress code is a massive problem in school districts nowadays. Children and teenagers alike are being objectified. School dress code is prioritizing appearance and clothing over education. 

Over the years, dress codes have become increasingly more strict. Teenagers are no longer allowed to wear leggings without a shirt covering their butt, ripped jeans, tank tops, or shorts/skirts shorter than mid-thigh. Kids are also no longer allowed to wear jackets or coats in classrooms. 

We are now forced to ask the question, “Is this code valid?” 

I do not believe so. Students should be able to clothe themselves in attire that makes them feel confident. If a girl feels confident in ripped jeans and a crop top, she has the right to wear that. School systems should not get to dictate what we can and cannot wear. If their parents let them out of the house, they should be allowed to wear those clothing pieces. Schools do not own a student’s body, they have no right to tell them how to dress. 

School dress codes are also very sexist. The code is often targeted toward teenage girls and their sense of fashion. The only thing in the dress code tailored towards boys is, “All pants must be worn no lower than the hips, no sagging or undergarments showing.” This rule, however, is not enforced at all. 

I realize that many parts of the dress code are not enforced; and I am grateful. However, I think that the written rules are demeaning and stress inducing for students. If kids are worried about teachers dress coding them, they are less focused on their education. If they do end up getting dress coded, students miss valuable lesson time. 

Despite all this, I don’t think students should be able to run around naked either. I think there should be a discussion about dress code and expectations. I think students and parents alike should be a part of these decisions. This decision affects all parties involved, and therefore, should be made by them. 

In the end, the dress code is unfair, sexist, and biased. It should be altered in a way that accommodates all students. Dress code is necessary, but should be beneficial not domineering.