Dress Codes Are Unfair

Dress codes are a serious issue that has impacted many students. Schools have different dress codes that affect girls and boys. Recently it seems that dress codes have been stricter for girls, making girls unable to wear what they feel comfortable in. In Minnesota, a five-year-old girl wore a sundress and was told to “cover up her body.” At a Florida high school, the administration edited around 80 photos of girls, while none of the boys’ pictures were altered. In Nevada, a sixteen-year-old girl was escorted out of school by two police officers for showing her shoulders. 

According to the Stamford Board of Education, here are some examples of clothes that are prohibited from being worn in Stamford Public Schools:

  • Shirts and/or blouses that reveal the abdomen, chest, breast, or undergarments. 
  • See-through clothing.
  • Shorts, miniskirts, or pants that reveal the upper thigh or undergarments.
  • Head coverings of any kind including, but are not limited to, scarves, bandannas, masks, headbands, hoodies, etc. These prevent easy identification of students. 
  • Spiked or studded bracelets, oversized or multi-finger rings, belts, or any other article or attire with spikes or studs attached. 

Junior Miya Sweeney has had different experiences with the dress code. “It was terrible because I got kicked out of gym class twice over a bonnet that I wore,” Sweeney said. “Caps and hats are [not] allowed in school because you can’t see [a student’s] identity, but when it comes to wearing a bonnet, you’re still able to see their identity,” she said. 

Everyone should be able to feel comfortable at school. School should be a place where students shouldn’t be getting told what to wear, especially if it’s already appropriate for school. Many girls have experienced being dress-coded like Sweeney. “I feel like it was biased because certain people tend to struggle with doing their hair and it takes them more than an hour to do it. Many girls who struggle with these problems cover their hair up and wear a bonnet or any hair accessory,” Sweeney said. “It was very unfair,” she added.

Girls wear accessories in their hair to make them feel better about themselves like headbands, hats, bonnets, and bandanas. “A bonnet does make me feel more comfortable. Normally in the morning I don’t have time to do my hair, and so I wear my bonnet. Wearing my bonnet… makes me feel like I won’t get judged by anyone,” Sweeney said. 

Sweeney believes that the Stamford Board of Education should change certain dress codes to make students feel more comfortable at school. If these changes are made, “Students could feel safe” and like they can “express themselves,” Sweeney said. 

Dress codes have had a huge effect on many students’ lives. Every student is unique in their own way and should be able to express themselves with what they choose to wear.