Dress codes are intended to enforce a set of rules that help schools and other societies maintain a distraction free environment. The intended goal of imposing a dress code on the student body of public schools, however, has strayed from its original purpose. I have personally been targeted and victimized by the set of rules regarding clothing that are enforced on girls attending public schools. In addition, I have witnessed other students being reprimanded for their choice of clothing.
A dress code, depending on the school, is usually given out to students during the first week of school, or, similar to how they introduced it here at LGHS, is put in one of the many tedious slides that are presented in an assembly. This year, similar to the other eleven years of my public school education, the dress code has one principal flaw that has gone too many years unnoticed by the administration, and apparently anyone else with a voice on the issue. When reflecting on the five rules implemented by Los Gatos High School’s very own school administrators, the dress code seems to be a set of rules directed exclusively at the female population.
Four out of the five rules that are listed on LGHS’s dress code policy can be directly linked to fashion statements generally made by girls on campus. These include No transparent clothing, No shirts that expose the entire back or excessive midriff, Strapless tops may not be worn, and finally, No exposure of buttocks. Although these clothing limitations are supposedly meant for the general population at LGHS, students rarely see the dress code affecting the male student body. Taking this hypocritical trend into account, school administrators seem to be forgetting that their own rules of social conduct at the school are being broken by enforcing the dress code that is currently in place. If LGHS is really a community welcoming all genders, ethnicities, sexualities, etc., why does the dress code put limits on the self expression of females in this supposed “judgement free” environment?
To answer this question, one must be educated in the complex realm of self expression. Self expression in the form of appearance is huge for people undergoing change, especially those who are in environments that promote growth and learning, like high school. That is why the dress code at our school is such a shame; the outstanding education and positive environment provided to every student here at LGHS is currently being compromised by a flimsy five-rule dress code. If staff would simply review the dress code they would understand that curating a personal style is a huge part of growing into a young adult. After all, high school should be a time to experiment with different fashions and find one that resonates with students’ personalities and beliefs. A simple revision of the current dress code would allow Los Gatos High School to reach its fullest potential as the phenomenal school that every parent, student, and faculty member knows it can be.