When Teachers Become Fashion Cops
(Dress Code Policy)
As hundreds of students head back to school this year, there is the usual rush -- to buy notebooks and binders. However, shopping for back-to-school was different this year for students: they needed a whole new wardrobe after the school adopted a dress code policy. Alarmed by increased school violence and theft, a breakdown of discipline, and deteriorating academic performance, the administration had been clamoring for some concrete means of enhancing the image of the students and the school. Adopting a school dress code was proposed and endorsed as a solution. I personally disagree with the administration s decision and believe that instituting a dress code policy restricts students rights of free expression.
The administrators believe that the adoption of a school dress code policy for students as well as teachers, will lead to increased school safety, improved student discipline, and a positive student learning environment. Students who neglect to wear the designated appropriate attire are to be sent home and must return with parents.
Large numbers of students, myself included, disagree with and oppose the dress code policy. No one knows for certain whether a dress code is actually beneficial in creating a positive student demeanor. We strongly believe that the school dress code violates students' rights of free expression. Adolescence is a period when students attempt to find their own uniqueness and individuality in various ways and one way is through fashion. Yet our freedom is being restricted and in addition the policy is creating an unpleasant mood inside the school where teachers, principles, and even coaches have become fashion cops, intent on catching criminals wearing .inappropriate x attire. We believe that the dress code policy not only is not constructive in putting an end to school violence, but it promotes unhealthy competition to keep up with the latest expensive fashions. It is absurd that the administrators are choosing to focus on the superficial instead of improving the academic environment. The school houses unsanitary reeking bathrooms, and an insufficient number of water fountains. Well-stocked libraries, extended access periods to the computer lab, larger choices of elective courses, and new full-height lockers are the types of changes that the school should focus on in order to create a learning atmosphere conducive to improving students academic achievements