Dear high school school dress code,
You can be extremely strict at times. In most cases you don’t allow students to be themselves. You restrict us from wearing what we want, and most of the time you’re only ever targeted at the females. Sure, you say that it’s for everyone, but that’s not how it’s enforced. One of so many examples is one that made it all the way to The Huffington Post. It was when a group of around 30 girls was sent home one week for wearing something that you deemed “too revealing.” They were pulled out of class for having visible bra straps and sleeveless tops.
“I was wearing a tank top but it covered everything except my shoulders, and they told me I had to either put on a sweater or go home and change because of my bra straps,” Amber Michelin-Jones, 17, told QMI.
Another student, Maddie Plynn, claimed school officials said the dress code existed to keep girls’ bodies from distracting boys. “I was talking to a few boys and they even said they are offended because the school is making them out to be uncontrolled horny monsters,” she said, per QMI.
Another student, Danielle Matias, gave a similar statement to Canada’s National Post.
“We were actually given a presentation at the beginning of every school year, and they were telling us, ‘Well, you can’t wear certain types of shirts because they’re afraid that male students will take it the wrong way,’” said Matias.
I do not hate the teachers that enforce you. They’re only doing their job. Their job is to teach us, and if every inch of our wide thighs and perfectly polished legs are exposed, then we’d be distracting every teenage boy in their classroom! The boys’ eyes would be glued only on us and they just wouldn’t be able to focus with all this meat and skin in the seat next to them. So, that’s why girls are forced to leave school and lose an opportunity for education because of the clothe that we are wearing to cover our bodies. Although, when boys wear sleeveless tops and ripped jeans it’s not a problem. Their bodies aren’t sexualised and viewed in the same way as girls are.
You’re supposed to reduce violence in schools and increase our safety, but that’s not always what you do. Instead you body shame girls and sexualise them. You send a message that our bodies should be covered because they’re a distraction. Hypersexuality is something that young girls see every day of their lives in the media. Now, it’s a part of her too. You give a format of a girl who is asking for a boys attention. So, instead of keeping boys eyes off of girls it’ll just create a target on girls who express themselves with tank tops and ripped jeans, or girls that can’t afford new clothes every school year or every time a teacher tells them what they’re wearing is inappropriate. You opened us up to a new form of bullying called slut shaming. Now boys know which girls to go after because they are looked at as more promiscuous. Even other girls are calling other girls out for what they wear.
You’re written by people who must have never stepped near a teenage boy in their life. They say that you’re for our own protection because if you can see our bra straps then we’re asking for bad things to happen. All that teenage boys care about is our bodies they say, which isn’t exactly true. Boys don’t care if our jeans are ripped or if they can see our shoulders. Dress codes create more of a distraction. Sometimes you can also be very biased. “Finger tip length”, “3 Fingers wide”, These are things that you say that are supposed to create an accurate image of what things should look like. This isn’t very accurate because someone else's finger tips may be farther than mine, or fingers wider.
I’d like to see you change. I wish you weren’t as sexist and didn’t focus as much on making sure girls are not promiscuous. Instead you should focus on keeping us safe. You should be written by people who understand a classroom setting and the mind of teenagers. No one really cares about things like ripped jeans or crop tops. You create a consciousness of these things and force us to hide our creativity in what we wear. What we wear is a great part in shaping our character and self love as young adults. You should make the same rules for girls for boys too and enforce them that way. Please change.
Sincerely, Nisha Broomfield