Dress codes have long been an issue of contention for students and schools. While some claim it to be sexist, unfair, and dehumanising, others argue that it is reasonable and holds students up to a good standard.
School dress codes were first made in 1969 by the U.S. Supreme Court out of concern that student’s expression through clothes may be disruptive to the learning environment or violate the rights of others. By the 1970s, gangs were a rising issue. By banning clothes that symbolized gangs, schools hoped to stop gang behaviors and avoid innocent students getting threatened by the members of the gang or the rival gang. These clothes were possible causations of disruption to the learning environment, according to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The specifics of dress codes differ among regions, but the main points are similar. They limit the amount of skin exposure and clothes that are gang related. Dress codes have not changed much since they were made and is a very controversial topic nowadays.
“In my opinion, school dress codes are outdated and should be revised,” said Ethan Chou, a sophomore in Mission San Jose High school. “All, if not most, shorts marketed towards women are too short to be worn at school.”
According to TODAY’s Survey, about 51% of the people reasoned that dress codes make them feel uncomfortably hot or cold and therefore are not fond of it. It often forces them to suffer in the heat, wear a skirt, or buy more clothes that are appropriate for school. Furthermore, dress codes mainly target the female students, and many people are unsatisfied about it, calling it sexist.
However, not everyone dislikes and opposes dress codes. Some say that they are crucial and necessary for schools to be a safe and positive learning environment.
“I think that most of the dress codes are reasonable but there are some that are not relevant anymore,” said Tiffanie Hoang, a sophomore in Mission San Jose High school. “However, simply because time passed does not mean people became less lustful and therefore should be okay to wear revealing clothes to school.”
While school dress codes may be outdated in some ways, most of them are reasonable.
School is a place to learn, not a place one comes to express themselves through their fashion, and students should learn how to dress appropriately at times. Having dress codes allows students to concentrate more on academics rather than fashion. While freedom of expression is important, there needs to be a limit to the amount given.
Some say that dress codes are simply accommodated for each gender and is not sexist by any means. For example, showing undergarments and wearing shirts that show shoulders are not only enforced to females but to males as well.
However, there are also quite a lot of people that neither support or oppose dress codes.
“I don’t support either side,” said Jisoo Hong, a senior in Irvington High school. “I can see the points being made and its flaws in both.”
Most the time, if not all, it is idealistic to trust people to be completely free in their choices while being responsible. There must be a guideline or a limit to the amount of freedom. However, when the limits become too uptight, it takes away the rights of people.
Most of the opinions out in the world are flawed yet constructive. None are wrong and therefore should be listened to and kept in mind.
Christy Yoon, Grade 10
Mission San Jose High School