Is our dress code biased? Do females tend to make up more of the violations because the dress code is directed towards them? Or is it their anatomic makeup?

by : Trinity Holland

At PRHS there is a set dress code like there is any school, it regulates what students wear and what is appropriate for school. It makes statements that communicate that if a top is too short if the bare midriff or the small of the back is exposed when a student raises her/his arms above the head; when the student is leaning over; or when the student is sitting down. This states that if you have a shirt that lifts up when you raise your arms to expose your back it is prohibited. Some students might find this ridiculous and unnecessary, others might find it quintessential. In the PRHS hand book it proclaims that Paso Robles Joint Unified School District believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment.  Other claims are that when in violation of dress code you’re “distracting”.

When asked if the PRHS dress code truly provided a “distraction free” space Mrs. Dawley responded with, “Yes I do think it provides a clearer head space for students. Even as a teacher if I see flashy tasteless clothing articles I get distracted myself, so I can only imagine how students feel.” At PRHS there has been twenty-one recorded dress code violations this year. Twelve out of the twenty-one violations were females. Considering the slightly higher female violations, the controversial question is this, is this because of the anatomic makeup of females? Or is it biased? The violations had typically been second offenders, meaning that they had already been told and talked to about the violation of their clothing.

The dress code also isn’t just for things like showing too much skin either. If there is derogatory symbols or inappropriate images on your clothing you will be dress coded. As the spring and summer heat approaches females and males will be searching for clothing that will be comfortable and also cool. We will no longer be wearing sweatshirts and jeans; with the heat there will be shorter shorts and thinner “more revealing” articles of clothing. Although all of those articles of clothing are acceptable according to the dress code, will females be told to cover up because their shorts are too short?  “I really haven’t seen too many girls actually being dress coded for their shorts being too short, I’ve mostly seen them get dress coded for like a pot leaf on their jacket or something” (Ella Wayner) Or their shirt is too revealing? If so, why? Is it distracting? To whom, males? Administration? Is this teaching males that they’re incapable of controlling their urges, or is it simply because we have a set dress code and they didn’t follow it? Most students however have never experienced getting dress coded, or told to cover up.

When a survey was conducted the majority of students had said that they did believe that the dress code had provided a distraction free space. Others have stated that the dress code was appropriate and they didn’t feel like females were being biased, they had felt that the distributions had been evenly disseminated.  The truth is this, females at PRHS have made up 62% of the recorded dress code violations as of February 23rd. This is has been consistent with past years; female distribution has ranged from 55% to 65%. The dress code is simply a set of rules that apply to both females and males and its goal is to maintain a healthy atmosphere at school.

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