School dress codes face backlash


Although the CHS dress code is not as strict as other schools, some feel that dress codes are outdated.

Cayla Carlson and Ruth Crawford

Dress codes are enforced in schools to ensure that students wear appropriate attire for the school atmosphere. While some schools are stricter than others, school dress codes are highly controversial. Some students believe that while the dress code helps maintain some sort of formality in school, it can be both unfair and hard to follow especially after virtual school.

Since returning to full-time, in-person schooling, enforcing students to follow the dress code has been a difficult task. Coming from the world of virtual school where what you wore didn’t matter, it is hard for some students to make the transition from comfortable home wear to more formal school wear. Some students think that these dress codes should not even exist.

Aside from the numerous clubs and classes offered at CHS, many students use style as a creative outlet. However, there are students who feel the dress code hinders their individual style. Rules prohibiting low clothing cuts and styles are an unfair way to limit the students’ creativity by deeming those things unacceptable.

In contrast to the creative aspect of fashion, most students are dress-coded as a result of claims that their clothing is “too revealing” or “inappropriate.” This has often led to the belief that the dress code targets female students.

“[It] is unfortunate since girls are taught to be ashamed of their bodies and this leads to problems with body image, mental health etc. That’s not the teacher’s job,” said an anonymous sophomore. “Instead they should support students and encourage their fashion choices without shaming them and making them feel bad for it.”

There are other female students who believe that if nothing is too exposed, there is no reason to dress code a student.

As students who have never been dress-coded, we do not feel ashamed of our outfits fearing we will be dress-coded.

The CHS dress code appears to be relaxed compared to other schools, however, for those who have been dress-coded, the policy can feel overbearing and unfair, promoting the feeling of discomfort in one’s skin.

When a student is dress-coded, the school is essentially belittling those students for what they are wearing. In doing so, the student’s confidence can be affected, causing more harm than good.

That begs the question, why is the dress code still around?

“The roots of dress codes are misogynistic and classist,” said freshman Maxine Zahler of Long Branch. “In such a progressive country, I’m surprised that something so old-fashioned is still used today, but I’m glad that people are questioning its intentions. However, we can establish a new dress code that has the majority of its input from women and those affected by it, deciding what’s best for students across America.”