Dress code affects students unevenly


Many schools go without a dress code, an option that should be considered if the school won’t equally dress code it’s students. Dress codes can be harmful to schools when they begin to police students bodies, and more school should consider removing their dress codes in Minneapolis. Graphic by Lil Crawford

Lil Crawford, Staff Writer

The dress code here at South High is far from perfect. It has tons of flaws and it affects people differently like female bodied students, male bodied students, students of color and white students.

As of last year I was wearing one of my favorite skirts, a pencil skirt, and leggings. The skirt was down to just above the knee if not right on. Later that day towards sixth hour transitioning into seventh, I was late to class and I passed by a hall administrator who told me that my skirt was too short and I should change it or be dress coded. This was my first conflict with anyone at South, administration or teacher so of course, I altered the skirt so that it was longer.

Gladly, I was not sent home but different stories were shared with me. A sophomore student I spoke with shared her thoughts and story: “I’ve been dress coded twice, and I think it got a little better even though I haven’t read the updated one yet, but [it’s] still unfair.”

Later asking about if the student thought if the dress code affects people differently, the student went on to say :“definitely, also the size of people such as different body types.  Like if I have a bigger chest size and I wear a tank top, I’m more likely to be dress coded.”

Then later going on to share her direct experiences with the dress code she mentioned: “It was last year and I was wearing a green shirt that was semi-cropped and high waisted jeans, so my stomach was not showing and I had a sweatshirt tied around my waist, and the former assistant principal told me to cover up, so I did.”

Progressing into her second story, the student shared another negative experience with the dress code at South. “I was coming into lunch a little late, I was wearing leggings and a shirt that covered everything, and the woman at the front desk said -Girl you’re hanging out all over the place, those aren’t pants-. So I borrowed a sweatshirt from someone and tied it around my waist, then she proceeded to tell me that my shirt was too short,” she commented.

Speaking with Assistant Principal Reynoldes she first stated that she had not been apart of any discussion on the dress code therefore :“I’m probably going to have to lean on what it says”. Having this be her first year this was understandable, we later discussed the changes that were made over the past year. The dress code changed a little bit over the past year, mainly removing halter tops and low cut shirts from the list which is a step in the right direction.

Asking Reynoldes what dress coding she had experienced or witnessed she commented : “I can’t speak for the white versus students of color, as I haven’t witnessed this hands on but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening, but I’ve taken upon the body types, she was a little more curvaceous and I really saw this from her perspective, thin female bodied people would walk around with mid drifts on and nothing would happen. After that happened I really walked into school the next day with a new perspective, as of right now it’s like we’re at a crossroads”.

Then after having a very opinionated and deep discussion Reynoldes continued with :“ I believe that the dress code gets in the way with pure interaction with students, and I think it’s a road block”. The dress code, as of right now is tolerable but we need it to affect all students rather than one group.