Trinity Peets: Dress codes have merits in schools


ADAMS >> According to the Oxford Dictionary, a dress code is "a set of rules, usually written and posted, specifying the required manner of dress at a school, office, club, restaurant, etc." Schools and workplaces have dress codes, and even friend groups have dress codes. Individual people have their own dress codes. Schools enforce dress codes, usually on shirts, pants, and shoes. It is not as bad as people make it seem.

I am a female black student who has been always told to dress to impress, even casually. I go to a charter high school that has a professional dress code. Students don't not like our dress code and many have left because of it.

If you are at school, you are learning, and those who designed the dress code made it so it is something you can learn in. If you're exercising, you wear clothes you can exercise in. If you work at a restaurant, you wear a uniform so you are not confused for a customer. Your dress code depends on what you are doing. But you don't need a crop top to learn, just like you don't need skinny jeans at the gym.

Kids always say that a dress code is completely restrictive, but it is not true. I like how everyone dresses and has their own style despite the dress code. For example, a girl in my section wears rings, necklaces, and many different assorted bracelets to express her style within the dress code. A boy in my section wears different watches, shoes and necklace to express his style. It may even increase individuality, not repress it.

Another pro of dress codes is safety, which plays a big part in many dress codes. For an example, at a construction site, the workers wear steel-toed boots so their toes won't get broken. Also, in many science labs, you have to wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves and pants so your skin won't touch any poisonous chemicals. In my public elementary school, there was rule that everyone had to wear closed-toe shoes. A few kids ignored that rule and got cuts and splinters from the wood chips on the playground.

There are plenty of things in this world we could be doing instead of worrying and complaining about dress codes. Even I am guilty of this at times. We all need to relax and stop wasting time. Humans don't live that long in the span of time and we should spend time doing things that are worthwhile.

Finally an important disclaimer — clothing is an outside layer of a person and it is not the inside layer of a person. Our society looks more at the clothes than at the person wearing the clothes. Also, all parties involved in an organization should have input on a dress code, which would reduce resistance and antipathy to it.

Trinity Peets wrote this column for her 10th grade English class at the BART charter school.


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