Dress codes are Discriminatory

Brittany Lee-Brown, Staff Writer

Discrimination in the public school system involving dress code is no secret to us. I myself have been dress coded or talked to or have been given dirty looks for something that I have worn in school and I know some of you may have experienced that as well.

The dress code is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my entire school career and the public school system’s sexist mindset on what girls should and should not wear in school needs to be changed.

First, I want to show exactly what Anne Arundel County’s dress code is. You cannot show profanity or promote drugs within your clothing. Understood.

You cannot promote gangs in your clothing. I got that.

You cannot have form-fitting clothes, midriff showing, or show bare skin between upper chest and mid-thigh.

Now, if you break these rules you could ultimately end up suspended for being a distraction on school grounds, but why are form-fitting clothes a distraction? females cannot control how their bodies are shaped, crop tops and ripped jeans aren’t allowed because you are showing a part of your skin. that doesn’t make sense since it’s not nudity. It should be allowed and we should be able to express ourselves within our clothes.

According to the website edweek.org, a lot of the time, female students will miss out on learning time after having to get pulled out of class for a simple shirt that is so-called distracting to the environment. students that are already struggling academically fall further behind in class when they miss too much time serving suspensions, changing clothes, or waiting while administrators measure their shorts lengths. the dress code needs to be modified to fit the new norms in society.

I’ve gotten called out one time for wearing a body con dress that went past my fingertips. I’ve gotten called out for wearing crop tops. I’ve gotten called out for wearing shorts. I am a taller girl so clearly, not everything is going to fit me like it would a shorter girl, but it is the same look so why can’t I wear the same stuff and not get called out for it. They like to pick and choose who to talk to and use the excuse that it doesn’t follow the dress code when other people dress the same way right in front of them.

I know that there is an argument that boys get dress coded too so I posted an Instagram poll asking girls and guys separately if they’ve ever been dress coded before and why.

There were 31 answers in total from boys. 14 said yes and 20 of them said no.

I asked the girls the same question and out of 47 people, 37 said yes and only 10 said no. Most of the boys said they were coded for not wearing the proper uniform, or they had a hat or a hoodie on, which could be a topic for discussion about racial bias in dress codes, but the answers from the girls are that their crop tops or ripped jeans or even leggings were “too revealing” for school.

I think that because of the changes that women had to push men to make so that we could all have freedom, we should be progressing in our school systems by letting us wear what we feel comfortable in without being told we are a distraction. There needs to be a change and the school systems need to do better.