The Overall Fairness of The Dress Code
The Negative effects of the Dress Code
There is much adversity when it comes to the dress code of Alachua County Public Schools.
To start, students have missed essential class time due to being sent to the office; this can harm their grades and work ethic. (Click here for more information).
In some schools, repeated dress codes can lead to referrals. These referrals can do severe damage to a student’s educational history and future schooling. It’s controversial that a mere wardrobe choice has such an effect on a students’ education.
Continuing from there, many students who have taken our survey stated that they felt uncomfortable, whether it was due to the location of the dress code, how they were called out, or who dress coded them. There were various reported instances where a student has been dress coded in front of a crowd/audience. That attention could lead to a severe feeling of uneasiness for students, especially ones with social anxiety or depression. (This idea continues here)
Regarding student’s opinions on the dress code’s fairness, the results are leaning one way more than the other. A majority of the students who took the survey believed that the dress code was unfair and, quite frankly, sexist. (As described here) From a staff’s standpoint, they may see the dress code as necessary for a student’s respectability. Contrary to that, students simply want to express themselves by wearing something they enjoy.
The county set the dress code into play to prevent students from getting distracted by others’ appearance. Although it’s common knowledge that a guy won’t stop paying attention in class to look at a girl’s shoulder.
From a Research Perspective
Many schools have opted out of dress codes in general. Not only is it proven to have had a positive outcome, but it has added to the debate of dress code necessity. To add more context, Portland, Oregon’s public school district adopted a new policy in 2016; this less strict policy has positively affected the school. To clarify, in the article “California city is latest to redo ‘sexist’ school dress code,” the author writes, “Portland’s relaxed dress code is considered a success, said Carol Campbell, principal at Grant High School. Campbell said students wear appropriate clothing most of the time, and it was ’a huge relief’ that staff could now focus on teaching, rather than necklines and hemlines. ‘It’s changed the culture of how students view each other,’ she said. ‘When we have rules and dress codes that particularly target one group, it sounds like we’re blaming that group, which always tended to be women’” (Gecker ⁋18-20). When the principal says, “it was ’a huge relief’ that staff could now focus on teaching, rather than necklines and hemlines,” it confirms that not only are the students more focused but so are the teachers, neither have to worry about the dress code during school hours. Using these results, one can easily conclude that, one, the dress code causes discrepancies in the work environment, and two, the dress code doesn’t seem to be needed since the lack of one has shown no drawbacks.
A Controversial Finding
Looking at the survey data, 110 students have witnessed their teacher out of the dress code. While students are dress coded for simply wearing the clothes they enjoy, some teachers have free rein over what they choose to wear. Although the argument regarding teachers being adults is acknowledged, it holds little effect since the common opinion that students are distracted by clothing out of dress code counters it. One could even add to that accusation that teachers get distracted by their fellow teachers who are “out of dress code.” The responses are endless.