Editorial: Strict Dress Codes

The issue of dress codes has been put under the spotlight as of late, with many arguing that the institutions that establish these clothing requirements, such as public schools, should be more lenient with their policies.  The constant debate over what exact types of attire these codes should allow and prohibit is quite common, and our school has been no exception.

Schreiber currently has a specific dress code for gym courses, requiring students to “wear physical education type shorts (no cut-offs, no zippers), tee shirts, sweats or warm-ups, sneakers that secure, and socks,” according to the school’s website.

This clothing guideline claims to “protect” the welfare of students by ordering them to wear the “appropriate” gear during gym.  The dress code writes that “all students are expected to give p roper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions.”  However, while this dress code means well, it is not valid in certain cases.  Most notably, the restrictions placed on permitted attire for gym class is especially questionable.

Girls are not allowed to wear tops with thin straps that reveal their shoulders, more often called “spaghetti straps,” or tank tops in general during physical education.  If students show up to class with this allegedly inappropriate clothing, teachers make them sit out during class, unable to participate as punishment for disrespecting the dress code, or to return to their lockers and borrow a peer’s extra pair of clothes.

While the school claims to establish this clothing guideline for the wellbeing and health of students, it is extremely difficult to comprehend why wearing clothes that reveal one’s shoulders during gym class contributes to any dangers, whether that be causing a disturbance in the school setting or posing as an obstacle to the learning process.

The Schreiber Times believes that the dress code should be modified in order to more accurately reflect the reasons for the clothing guideline that our school has clearly listed in every student agenda.