The Great Dress Code Debate

By Mia Saraceni

One of the hottest and most widely debated topics in schools across the country has remained dress code policies, but how do people at GS feel about it?

When it comes to student opinions, it is generally agreed upon that the dress code is unfair, sexist and not something worth following. Many students are outright with their complaints while others keep quiet, but one of the most vocal students is senior Jeremiah Myers.

Myers’ opinion is a prime example of the thought process of most students. Riddled with disdain and thoughts of sexism, they believe the dress code to be old-fashioned and quite frankly, they hate it.

A snapshot of the GS dress code. Photo by Mia Saraceni.

The animosity toward the dress code comes from the unfairness they think it holds.

“I do think it’s sexist because it literally surrounds the idea that men cannot control themselves and be distracted by someone’s shoulders,” they said.

The dress code contains many rules for females, such as not showing the midriff, shoulders, back, upper thigh or practically any part of the body that isn’t the hands and face.

These strict rules that seem to cater more towards women are the only ones that make an impact on the student body. The codes that ban profanity or drug/alcohol references on clothing don’t seem to anger anybody.

Myers believes that although this is a learning environment, students should be able to do whatever they want in regard to how they look/dress.

“I should be able to wear whatever I want that makes me comfortable enough to learn,” they said. “If that means you show up in a crop top and booty shorts, then that’s what it is.”

 These rules, according to Myers, are archaic.

“Obviously, whoever made this dress code as an adult has gone through life and has had more experiences than us because they’re older, but at the same time the world is changing, and I think that we should change it to fit this new generation and to accurately represent people,” they said.

Junior Ava Saville agrees with Myers, providing similar answers and a remarkably similar mindset.

Saville’s view on the dress code also centers around sexism and women’s bodies and follows a similar path of self-expression as Myers.

“People aren’t allowed to truly express themselves and wear what they like,” she said. “It’s very oversexualized, too, especially when it comes to girls not showing their midriff or shoulders.”

A fresh take, Saville believes that the biggest problem with the code is its discriminatory use against different body types and attractiveness.

“It’s very focused on women and our bodies,” she said. “One woman with a certain body type can wear a crop top and if she is deemed as unattractive, there is an issue. But a girl who maybe is skinnier and prettier wears that same top, there’s no issue.”

The idea that the dress code offers unfairness between men and women is evidently a common viewpoint, but a view that suggests unfairness within the same gender isn’t as popular.

Co-Principal Mr. Adam Jones has opinions on this accusation, though, and they aren’t good.

“Wow, that couldn’t be further from the actual truth,” Mr. Jones said. “That is an unfair statement and purely someone’s opinion, to which they are entitled. As administrators, there is never an appropriate time to pick and choose based on anything other than policy.”

Saville’s claim was seen as extremely bold and borderline slanderous, and Jones vehemently disagrees with it.

Obviously, however, not all students agree with the robust opinions of Myers and Saville. One student, senior Kayleigh Hagan, thinks almost the complete opposite. Hagan believes that the dress code is not one bit sexist and should be taken more seriously by students.

Unpopularly, she thinks that the code is important and a fundamental part of the learning environment.

“I think having it [dress code] is good, especially when it’s warmer,” she said. “Obviously, it’s hot out and people want to start wearing more revealing clothing, but we have to make sure what we’re wearing isn’t inappropriate. It’s annoying to see people’s butts hanging out.”

Not only is she an avid fan of the dress code, but she also follows it to a tee and feels it isn’t really that hard to follow.

“It’s just whatever, I feel like people make too much of a big deal about it,” she said.

Hagan also disagrees with the claims that following the dress code is too difficult, citing that most of it is simply common sense.

“I’ve seen other people who’ve been reported for their clothing and most of the time it’s understandably so,” she said. “It’s just common sense that they all lacked.”

Jones roughly follows the same mindset as Hagan, but more in a nonchalant and unbothered way.

Although being one of the main recipients for dress code complaints, he argues that it really isn’t that big of a deal neither to him nor fellow Co-Principal Mr. David Zilli. He states that they have much better things to worry about.

“Inappropriate dress is a little subjective,” Jones said. “Our dress code doesn’t say anything about how many inches shorts or skirts have to be.”

 He held fast in his opinion that while applicable in some situations, it isn’t his top priority, nor does he walk around looking for kids who break the rules.

“I’d rather focus on kids learning than how they dress,” he said.

He even agrees with students who claim that the code is sexist, but he cites a completely different reason for his view.

“I think that [sexism] is kind of true, and I don’t think that’s right,” he said. “I think that comes from a societal thing and it comes from a fashion thing. Most guys wear gym shorts and a t-shirt or hoodie, you know. Girls tend to explore different fashion and press the envelope more.”

Jones offers a very insightful look into the brain of the administrators who actually deal with these rules and are constantly the ones the finger is pointed at. Most students would usually deny that the “bad guys” are on their side, but when it comes to the principals at GS, they seem to be.

Even though the popular opinion directly contradicts the rules and regulations of the dress code, the fact of the matter remains that students must grin and bear it. But don’t fret, the principals won’t send a student to the office for wearing a crop top.

“It’s so far down my list of worries,” he said. “We’re coming off of a pandemic, mental health concerns and highly rigorous coursework. There are just so many other things to worry about in my day.”

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