By Hailey Johnson and Melia Privett
Photo by: http://www.pexels.com
In the past, dress code has been a sensitive topic for many students at Davie High. Girls and those who dress feminine in particular were heavily targeted by its policies against leggings, holes in pants, shorts, and all tank tops. This year, Davie High has changed many of its previous dress code regulations.
So what changed?
Shirts/tops must have shoulder straps of at least three inches – which is basically a sleeveless t-shirt. Shorts with a 3-4 inch mid seam are also allowed this year and not just shorts that are ‘midthigh.’ In previous years, the dress code was huge on ‘midthigh’ length shorts and shirts when wearing leggings. Clothing items fit differently on each individual because all bodies are unique. Students who are taller, for example, struggle with shorts because they fit differently on them. Shorts that have a 5-inch seam may be above midthigh on a taller person. With that being said, teachers should not be able to look at your shorts and decide if they are 3-4 inch seams just by where they lay on another person’s body.
Are leggings still a major problem?
Previously, leggings were a major problem within the dress code, causing controversy amongst students, teachers, and administration. Leggings were known to be “distracting,” “inappropriate” and “causing disruption within the classroom.” However, there is no longer any mention of leggings within the Davie High student handbook as of the 2022-2023 school year.
Not everybody wants to show up to school looking like they have come from a fashion show. Some may want to be comfortable throughout the school day because they have a rivalry game against West Forsyth that day, or they have a huge test that they stayed up all night studying for and they prefer to wear leggings rather than jeans. Leggings are a comfortable choice to wear for everybody. It is a significant win in the eyes of people who regularly wear leggings because they no longer have to worry about the fact whether their leggings are appropriate, if they show too much skin, or if they simply will get dress-coded just because they were wearing leggings.
How do students feel about the new dress code policy?
Pita Suarez, a student at Davie High gave her opinion on the new dress code policy as of the 2022-2023 school year, “I have never been a fan of dress code. I believe to a point that it is necessary, but it favors males and it can be excessive or overbearing. It feels like what clothing we wear is put over our education.” Pita is glad that leggings are not mentioned in the dress code this year she believes that they shouldn’t be. She goes on to say, “I’m glad that the dress code has eased up a bit because girls are now able to come to school comfortably. We do not have to worry about having to get dress coded and having to go home to change.”
Suarez goes on to talk about how she feels that “Boys should learn how to not objectify women. They need to be taught how to control themselves. It’s not fair that girls are told to cover up whenever boys can wear whatever they please.”
Alexus Gibbs is a student that has recently transferred from Freeman High School in Richmond, Virginia, to Davie County High School here in Mocksville, North Carolina. At her old school in Richmond, she said, “We were allowed to wear crop tops. We didn’t get in trouble if we showed our midline. But, we did have a 2-finger rule for shoulder straps. For shorts, we had a thumb-tip rule. And as always, we couldn’t wear hats or glasses. But, we were allowed to wear leggings. Leggings wasn’t a large issue at Freeman.”
She was questioned further about how she feels about the new dress code at Davie High compared to her old one at Freeman: “That’s ridiculous that you weren’t allowed to wear leggings. Dress code, in general, should be less limited on what we can wear.” Alexus was further questioned about her views on the dress code, “Definitely sexist – dress code shouldn’t be placing restraints on what girls can wear just because boys don’t know how to control themselves. It shouldn’t be a problem that they are wasting their education because they are distracted by what clothes girls are wearing. It’s not the girl’s fault at all.”
On the flip side, a boy (name will remain anonymous) gave his perspective on the new 2022-2023 dress code. Since he is a boy he says, “I am not affected day to day by dress code. I can put on whatever I want. In terms of the length of my pants, it’s not something that I have to worry about.” He also goes on to say, “Since I am a guy, I don’t necessarily have anything that I need to cover up. Guys aren’t perceived in society as women are today. I don’t care what girls in the classroom are wearing – it’s not something that I am worried about.” As he said, “It’s not something that I am worried about,” is something that girls have been trying to prove since Day 1 of having to prove that leggings are not distracting in the classroom or any other piece of clothing that administrators and school board deem to be “distracting” in the classroom.
Students should be able to come to school feeling comfortable in what they are wearing. We should not have to worry about our clothes getting more attention than our education. Students should not have to be concerned about whether or not they will be called out by a teacher or administrator because of what they decided to wear to school. Clothes that are worn to school should be appropriate — no private parts should be shown, and no clothing that advocates or advertises controlled substances, illegal conduct, or weapons. As long as the clothing is appropriate, what students choose to wear on a day-to-day basis should not affect anyone else’s ability to teach, learn, or focus in school.