San Dieguito Academy Newspaper
Segment+of+SDAs+dress+code.

Segment of SDA’s dress code.

Opinion: How dress codes affect students

With the San Dieguito Academy now enforcing the dress code, it is important to acknowledge how dress codes affect students.

November 5, 2021

While dress codes are supposed to foster a better learning environment, it often forces students to waste time being checked for rule conformance, taken out of class, and serving detention or suspension.

Those who are dress-coded may feel anxious about their physique or the things they choose to wear as a result. The decision over whether or not they should be dress-coded frequently leads to sexualization, which disproportionately affects girls with more mature bodies.

Educators and sociologists have also claimed that dress regulations based on such logic reinforce a greater societal expectation: that women are the ones who need to protect themselves from unwanted attention, and that those wearing seductive apparel are “asking for” it (“it” including sexual assault and harassment).

Those who oppose tight dress regulations argue that punishing pupils for their clothing is a sort of shame that can lead to body image problems.

Dress rules are a technique of regulating what young women wear. Clothing items that expose the shoulders or upper legs are frequently prohibited. It is sexualizing young girls to police what females wear to school.

Shorts, skirts, tank tops, and crop tops are examples of clothing items that are widely seen to be distracting in the classroom. The issue with these limits is that they are sexist toward female students because these are mostly women’s clothes.

An anonymous SDA student said that she was reported by one of her female teachers for a dress code violation. She was taken out of class and sent to the office to be told to “cover up” by a male faculty member. She says this made her feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious, causing her to go home after the incident.

Dress regulations, which mostly affect high school girls, carry the message that girls’ bodies are a distraction and are to blame for boys’ lack of focus. Dress code policies disproportionately affect girls. Boys aren’t usually bound to dress code restrictions.

If schools are so worried about girls’ bodies being a distraction, they should focus more on teaching those distracted that this should not be the case.

Additionally, it is often hard for students, especially those who identify as female, to find clothes they like that fit school dress codes. 

Students wear clothes that make them happy and comfortable. It is a form of self-expression for many, so that being taken away is a shame. While SDA administration says that this dress code was decided upon by former students, they have not given current students the chance to offer their input. While dress code enforcement may be inevitable, I think it is fair for students to have a conversation with administrators about what it includes and how it is enforced.

I would argue that as long as what they are wearing is considered comfortable and appropriate by the wearer, their parent or guardian, and the law, they should be able to wear it.

View Comments (20)
About the Contributor
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Jenna Wilson-Levin, Managing/Politics/Opinions Editor

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  • J

    jayMay 12, 2022 at 6:50 am

    thoughts about the mustang

    Reply
  • M

    melissaMay 11, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    #usingthisforareserchproject #slayyyyy gurl i completly agree with every thing i just read in this article love this

    Reply
  • A

    AbbyApr 29, 2022 at 6:02 am

    #usingthisforargumenativeessayyes

    Reply
  • P

    PennyApr 28, 2022 at 10:05 am

    This helped me so much!! I was *this* close to crying in class today when I read your article- I was going to the bathroom when a teacher dress coded me for my “short” skirt (My fingertips just barely went past the end). It feels so shameful to be told that i’m wearing something that is inappropriate or wrong. Every time this happens my self esteem is hit so hard. I’m so glad that you’re defending the rights and confidence of girls everywhere! This article is everything ❤

    Reply
    • J

      Jenna Wilson-LevinApr 28, 2022 at 10:25 am

      Thank you so much! I am so glad that my article helped in any way. I am so sorry that happened. Stay strong and keep on being amazing!

      Reply
  • E

    emryApr 27, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    SLAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY QUEEN GO OFF GURL!!!!!

    Reply
    • J

      Jenna Wilson-LevinApr 27, 2022 at 2:10 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • E

    emryApr 27, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    so true #slaaayyyyy

    Reply
  • C

    charlotteApr 14, 2022 at 9:27 am

    #usingthisforanargumentativeessay

    Reply
  • W

    WiseGirlApr 4, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    #usingthisforanargumentativeessay

    Reply
  • E

    ErinMar 21, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    #usingthisforanargumentativeessay

    Reply
  • A

    ACAMar 20, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    You are so right!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • A

    ajdMar 7, 2022 at 7:22 am

    actual fax #slayyyyyy

    Reply
  • K

    KidMar 3, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    #usingthisforanargumentativeessay

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  • V

    vFeb 28, 2022 at 8:44 am

    #same

    Reply
  • X

    xitlaliFeb 25, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    your so right

    Reply
  • J

    JOe MamaFeb 23, 2022 at 8:49 am

    #usingthisforanargumentativeessay

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  • M

    Mia RacineNov 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    100% agree Jenna. This article is really thoughtful and highlights all the important parts of this issue. Dress codes only serve as a means to control young girls’ self expression.

    Reply
    • M

      MonJan 20, 2022 at 10:20 am

      yeah

      Reply
    • L

      laylaFeb 7, 2022 at 12:05 pm

      so true girlboss

      Reply