Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

The game of high school dress code

For as long as students can remember, dress code has been an aspect of their education. Whether they view it as hindering or not. When talking to a woman who remembers dress code fifty years ago, it becomes apparent just how much times have changed. When asked if she had ever been dress coded, Sue Toensing replied, “…yes, 1970, my senior year for wearing pants to school instead of a dress.” Comparing her answer to those of high school age, it seems as though not much has changed except for what the expectation is for a student wardrobe. Sure, young ladies no longer have to wear dresses. Yet the dress code still stands. 

In a poll for high school students, even if they have since graduated, 67% of people said they had never been dress coded, 33% replying that they had, in fact, experienced it. A common opinion that seems to waver across the student body is that gender is the major factor. A senior high school student, Oliver Preston, simply said, “No, because I have a Y Chromosome… only women get dress coded.” Although some people don’t go into depth on the subject, they don’t have to in order to make their opinion clear. Getting to the point, some Mustangs stated, “I think it’s so stupid.”

On the other hand, some students admit that perhaps dress code isn’t such a hindering factor to their education. For example, Alyx Katz is in her last year of high school, and she’s formed her own opinion on the matter. “I actually don’t get dress coded as often as people think. The administration doesn’t care how short my shorts are or if [I’m] wearing a crop top or a tank top… and I’ve never been dress coded for any of that,” Katz continues, “…it’s always the hats they call me out on and even then it isn’t very often.”

And still, some students obtain opposing opinions, in which they’re very passionate. Morgan Heninger is a junior here at Herriman, and she thinks the dress code is unnecessary because she’s talked to many guys, and they’ve told her that “shoulders and knees don’t distract them”. She believes that the dress code may have the power to shame students for what they’d like to wear. Another opinion including objectification comes from Heninger. “Schools say that they want girls to feel strong and to be themselves, but they restrict us. Kids will enjoy school more by letting them wear whatever they want to with less strict codes.” And so, she believes a solution would be a compromise, which a lot of students would most likely agree with. Not getting rid of the dress code, but simply lightening its effects on the student body.