The Real Impact Of School Dress Codes

The Real Impact Of School Dress Codes

Is policing a dress code worth the lasting negative impact?
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Every so often, a picture of a girl in an outfit she wore to school will circulate around Facebook. The outfit has been discriminated against from a school's administration for being what they consider to be "immodest." Either a parent or the girl herself will write a long post about the absurdity of being taken out of school for showing too much knee or too much collarbone. While dress codes seem simple to those that enforce them, they have negative impacts that are hidden under the surface.

The real problem of school dress codes is not the fact that they exist, but the reasoning behind having them in the first place, as well as the administration that enforce it. The corruptive reasoning of dress codes has a lasting negative impact on both boys and girls, despite being intentional or not.

Whether or not an article of clothing is appropriate is completely subjective. An outfit may be viewed as modest to one teacher, but not to another. Parents will even approve of the child's outfit, but administration will disagree. The girl is punished for it regardless. She will be sent home for the day or forced to wait while a parent brings a change of clothes. She will bear the weight of embarrassment and shame all because the adults surrounding her cannot agree about an article of clothing. Meanwhile, a boy breaking dress code will almost always be overlooked.

The larger issue is how dress code violations are handled. A young girl can come to school feeling confident and on top of the world, but the opinion of one teacher can instantly bring her down. The self-confidence of a young girl is already so fragile without having someone that she looks up to shaming her to hide herself. She will be told that the outfit her mother bought for her makes her look like she is "going to the club."

In what world is it OK to tell a 12-year-old girl she looks as if she is going clubbing?

She will also be told that she must cover up that one extra exposed inch of knee so that boys are not distracting from their learning. Yes, because it makes perfect sense that showing once inch above your knee will cause a boy to be too distracted to learn. However, when they get to college and girls can wear whatever they want, boys are somehow able to pay attention to lecture. How does that make sense? You might as well point-blank say to a girl, "His education is more important than yours."

With all of this, there is an underlying impact that administrators do not even realize. Over time, it impacts the girls' self esteem so negatively that it can possibly lead to depression. It also shows them that their education is not as respected as that of a boy.

At the same time, it teaches boys that women are to be seen as objects. Pulling a girl out of class for a dress code violation shows them that if a girl is not covered up, then she is not to be respected as an equal since her exposed skin is distracting from their education. Teaching boys that their education is more important than a girls will contribute to sexism in the long run. If the administrators that these boys look up to don't respect these young girls, why should they?

My wish at the end of the day is for administrators to realize the larger impact that objectifying that one inch of knee makes. If the main reasoning for policing dress codes is to teach girls how to dress more professionally, then have a seminar about professional dress when they are in high school. Interrupting a girl's education over an inch of knee showing is not going to teach her how to dress professionally. It will crush her self-esteem and show that she is to be objectified instead of respected. It is up to school administrators to decide: is policing a simple dress code worth the long-lasting negative effects?

Cover Image Credit: pinterest.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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