Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Acceptable Length

As the weather finally warms up and people remove the layers of clothing, many schools are clashing with their students concerning appropriate attire in the classroom.  Recently in my area a girl was called out in front of her high school class because the jean-shorts she wore were deemed too short according to the school's dress code.  When she protested, she was suspended from school for a day.

Calling a student out for what he or she is wearing is tantamount to bullying by the teacher and/or administration.  They should have simply taken the girl aside or spoken to her in an office, instead of shaming her in front of her peers.

Aside from that, a classroom is a place to learn, not for ogling members of the opposite sex because they're wearing skimpy outfits in hot weather.  Young people are ruled by their hormones and they don't need the extra distraction of bare flesh.  I know some will say that they need to control themselves better, but the fact is that most can't or won't.

My high school didn't have a dress code as such, as I found out in my senior year.  (There was a uniform for gym classes and sports teams, but that was all.)  One hot day in June one of my fellow students was sent home by her math teacher because he was of the mind that what she was wearing - cutoff shorts and tank top - was inappropriate for class.  The teacher in turn was scolded by the principal for doing so because the principal believed that the students could wear what they wanted as long as they did their schoolwork.

The math teacher figured that if there was in fact no dress code and the students could wear what they wanted, then the staff could also.  He decided to bolster his argument by showing up for work the next day wearing an honest-to-goodness dress - borrowed from his wife, or who knew where he got it.  He taught his first two classes of the day in that dress, much to the amusement of the students.  The principal was furious and insisted that he change back to regular clothing, but the point had been made.  Whether the incident actually effected changes in the dress code, I never found out.

To me, this should be the norm: no tank tops or spaghetti straps that allow a bra to show, and shorts that cover from the waist to mid-thigh.  Better yet, use school uniforms.  Then nobody has the right to complain. Those low-rise, belly-button revealing, butt-hugging things that show your crack are NOT shorts; save those for the beach.  If you wouldn't wear it at an office job, you shouldn't wear it in school.


  1. I agree. Having some form of dress code teaches our children to respect themselves and their bodies. I would also agree that violations should not be called out publicly but as an aside.

  2. There was always a dress code at the schools I attended. Whether or not it was enforced was an issue. In high school, it was still a code, but it wasn't enforced very often at all. I wonder if there were changes made after the math teacher made his point? It would be interesting to know what the principal then thought!

    1. I honestly don't remember if any real changes were made after that. The teacher was thought to have been temporarily insane until the word got out that he was trying to make a point about the dress code, or lack thereof, and the principal wasn't impressed. The class valedictorian poked fun at the incident during his graduation speech but after that no further mention was made.

  3. Our dress code in the 60's? Girls had to wear skirts - no pants... o midriff, of course. The skirts had to be below your knees. Right now there is no midriffs showing rule in our town. That's because the girls abused the midriff thing ...

  4. I think having a dress code is fair--but it needs to be clear, to both students and parents. (also, see if you can get your word verification turned off for comments :)