Fountain Valley High School

Opinion: Why there shouldn’t be school dress codes

From elementary school to high school, a dress code is always enforced, dictating students on how to dress. Well, I say that schools have no right to tell students on what they can’t and can wear. School dress codes should be abolished and students should have the freedom to wear whatever they want to.

California is known for it’s hot, hot temperatures. How are we expected to keep from overheating in long sleeves and jeans in 90 degrees temperatures. Girls aren’t allowed to wear tank tops, shirts that show cleavage, or shorts and skirts that are “too short.”

Boys are also prohibited from wearing tank tops. Teachers call out girls for wearing tank tops or shorts by saying they’re too distracting, but here are my questions: Who are they distracting? And how are they distracting? It’s not like there’s a giant red arrow pointing at the girls’ shirts or tank tops. I highly doubt that any boys are going to find collar bones or shoulders distracting. If they do, girls shouldn’t be responsible for that, it’s not on them to control the boys. They should be able to control themselves.

Those who support having a dress code say that it is needed because if there wasn’t a dress code, students wouldn’t know how to dress. They think that if there were no dress codes that students would start to wear shirts that have curse words or show inappropriate graphics. Well, I think that high school students have at least a bit of common sense to know how they should and shouldn’t dress to school. The voting age in America is 18, but in some countries the voting age is as low as 16. If teenagers have the ability to choose who runs the government, shouldn’t they also have the ability to wear whatever they want?

The Fountain Valley High School dress code, similar to many others, has evolved over the time and they try to give some equality for the dress code, but it still seems to be gender specific and sexist. Although it doesn’t point out any specific genders, the codes imply what gender it applies to. When looking at the dress codes under school policies on the FVHS website, you’ll see that the shirts/tops and pants/shorts/skirts/belts codes apply to mostly girls.

I don’t mean to stereotype or judge, but unless it’s a trend that I’m not aware of, boys don’t typically wear skirts or tube tops.

As I’ve mentioned before, these rules are too keep girls from being “too distracting,” but again I ask, how? How are girls being too distracting? Shouldn’t phones be banned for being too distracting then? Many students attempt to use their phones in class and it distracts the student from being to fully focus on the lesson, but they aren’t prohibited.

Other students distract each other by talking or whispering during class, but talking isn’t prohibited. However, a girl sitting in class, trying to learn, and wearing a spaghetti strapped top is prohibited because the girl is just too distracting.

Schools should abolish dress codes and trust that students can make the right choices on what they choose to wear. Clothing isn’t just pieces of cloth, it’s also a way to express one’s self without having to say or do anything. Schools shouldn’t have the power to limit what students can or can’t wear.