The first dress code was established in 1969 by the US Supreme Court. The dress code is a set of rules stating the way in which a student should dress while at school. The school dress code is a very controversial topic and most people are familiar with the idea that it is supposed to improve safety and education for students. Over 40% of elementary, middle, and high school endorse some sort of dress code for students. While 1 in 5 public schools have a dress code.
Why are Dress Codes a Problem?
In my opinion there are many ways to enforce a dress code without harming ones self esteem and giving little room to express.
I believe that the school dress code is highly specific and inconsistent. Dress code mainly teaches women to hide there body and that it can be a distraction from others while school districts say this is there way to ensure “modest” dressing from girls.
As many men do get objectified it seems to be that when it comes to the dress code an astonishing 83% of the dress code violations target girls, these girls being as young as 14. At this age no one should have to worry about how there body is received to others. This can cause young girls to think that how others view them is of importance. The teenage years is a girls time to grow self of esteem and to build there self image, this is a time to explore and get creative with who you want to be. However, this leaves little room for self expression and can have a huge effect on young girls and guys.
School’s dress codes tends to blame students for others actions. For example, Shorts and skirts should be longer your fingertips because if you show your thighs it could distract a male student. However, many male students are not distracted by what women wear. In spite of that it is more distracting when it is pointed out. If it is a distraction for others then the schools attention should be focused on teaching a man to respect women’s bodies and not teaching us girls to cover up.
However, a girls body should never be a distraction for young men and should instead be treated the same way a man would in this case. Dress codes indicate that a man should feel more comfortable in there own body and what they are aloud to wear by not getting dress coded for certain things that a girl would. For example, sagging, showing shoulders, or even showing up to practice without a shirt on while girls get punished for wearing sport bras.
All Bodies Are Different
Girls come in all shapes and sizes and if these rules are set I believe they should be consistent. Two girls could be wearing the same shirt. One might be showing more cleavage then the other student because of there size. Therefore, if one of the girls is to be punished it is only fair to punish the other one. However, it stays inconsistent and these distinctions have a huge negative effect on a child’s self esteem.
The rule to prohibit students from wearing vulgar and violent clothing is a very reasonable rule and it is highly understandable schools do no want to encourage behavior of that sort.
Many schools simplify there dress codes wording to assure parents that they are doing everything in there power to keep children safe. However, we do discuss the controlled environment kids are in when they grow up believing that it is wrong for a girl to show her shoulders or her stomach because they will feel objectified and uncomfortable. Schools modify there choice of words like changing showing cleavage to covering private parts.