Thoughts on School Dress Code (By Someone Who Actually Had to Follow One)

There is a lot of talk about dress code among teenagers today. Just a few weeks ago, I was reading the American Girl magazine (something I hadn’t done in years) to see where it was. Each month they feature a different story, that month’s having been about how unfair dress codes are. It got me thinking about dress code, our current views, and my own experience with dress code. So, I wanted to share my experience with it, and some thoughts on it based off of what I know.

When I was in the tenth grade, I went to a Christian school and had to follow dress code. Now, if you think public school dress code is stressful, you haven’t seen Christian school dress codes. We had to wear skirts to our knees (which I already did so I was fine with that), a slip and undershirt everyday, sneakers (no sandals or open toe shoes because you could hurt your feet in recess), and a collared shirt (because it was easier to be modest in a collared shirt). On Fridays, you could wear jeans and no collar if you wanted to, but still try to be careful on what’s on your shirt concerning TV shows, violence, and words.

Now, I don’t have a lot of problems with school dress code. You know why? First, I think it helps keep you disciplined and ready for the real world. As an adult, you have to often adjust what you wear depending on where you are, especially at work. So, teaching children and teenagers that they have to follow a dress code helps them get used to dressing appropriately depending on what situation they are in and get ready for the adult world.

Secondly, I think dressing that way helps get students in mind that they are at school. You not at home or at the beach or at the mall. It isn’t a time to goof off. We are here to study, so we are dressing in a way that gets are mind on business rather than on playing or goofing off.

Thirdly, a lot of dress code rules are put in place to keep things appropriate at school. I do think every man and boy is personally responsible for being and thinking respectfully of women whether she is wearing a bikini or wearing an ankle length dress. I also think though that women should be considerate that it is scientifically proven that men are sexually stimulated by sigh, whether they want to be or not. I have talked to boys who are sincerely disgusted that when they see girls in immodest clothing, they naturally think of dirty thoughts. They hate themselves for it and do their best to look away or think about other things. Boys and men like these who honestly are trying to be appropriate I think deserve the mutual respect of women trying to dress in appropriate clothing that would help keep those thoughts away.

Imagine if you are at school and a guy slapped you on the rear end or just started giving you a back massage. Then said he was just “teasing” or “goofing” with you and that you shouldn’t be so uptight about it. Naturally, your bodies first instinct is sexual stimulation, but initially you are disgusted and even feel violated. That is because women are usually stimulated sexually by touch, and someone being inconsiderate of that or ignoring that, even if they are just teasing or trying to be friendly, are being very rude and ignorant. I believe boys that are genuinely trying not to think bad thoughts but are surrounded by half naked girls in skin tight clothes feel the same way. What if someone slapped you on the bottom and you got upset, saying it was a sexual gesture, then they accused you of being a pervert, taking it sexually when you should have just taken it as a friendly gesture? That is what we do to the boys and men in our schools when women dress immodestly and act like men are perverts for saying the clothing is sexual. It is a double standard.

Since everyone’s idea on what is too sexually inappropriate or too casual is different, that is why the adults who run the school get to choose. Everyone has different ideas, so the people who work there, run the building, and have seen thousands of students come and go have the responsibility to draw the lines of what is appropriate for a school environment, and students should respect that. You can have a different opinion, but while you attend the school, you should be respectful and follow its current rules, especially if it is a private school.

Now, I do have a few comments besides this. I do think teachers should follow the dress code. The focus in class is mostly on the teachers, and teachers are there to set an example. It is wrong to have students follow a moral code teachers do not. Secondly, boy’s dress codes should match girls. If it is inappropriate for a girl to show her shoulders, it is inappropriate for a boy to show his shoulders. To hold girls to a higher standard is wrong, even if girls aren’t usually into guys visually the same way guys are to girls. Punishments for breaking dress code should also be consistent whether you are a boy or girl. Keeping a double standard for boys and girls hurts the dress code policy and the school. A double standard causes anger and frustration in students and to be frank, is wrong.

All this to say, these are just a few opinions by someone who had one very strict dress code when they went to school. I thought it was good for everybody, and that it helped keep a good atmosphere. There was a bit of a double standard among adults and boys, but that means you should fix the double standard, not do away with dress code.

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