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School Dress Codes v. The First Amendment

Powerful Essays
America was founded on popular sovereignty and individual freedoms. What do Americans do when the freedoms given to them from birth are restricted or taken away from them? They fight! Throughout time the government has attempted to take away our civil liberties because they viewed them to be for the greater good. One huge government failure was the attempted prohibition of alcohol. It is well known that alcohol can be very dangerous and it should be restricted. However, the government went too far when it tried to take it away completely and just like their rebellious founders the American population just found ways around the law. Similarily, Carroll High School and other schools throughout the nation are severely restricting the students’ rights to express themselves through their visual appearance. The administration, relying on the crutch of limiting distractions and violence, is taking the dress code over the line and is infringing on our right of expression regardless of the lack of results that they are witnessing. Life is full of distractions and, for high school students, inappropriate clothing has the potential to grab much attention. However, does the matter of clothing warrant strict rules? I agree that, like alcohol, the students’ attire should have rules regarding whether or not the choices in clothing are suitable for a public school setting. I also agree that violators of school rules should receive punishment for their lack of compliance to the school policies. However, there is a fine line. Some schools, like Carroll High School, are taking dress codes too far. One rule in particular hinders the students’ ability to wear pants with holes in them. It makes sense that holes located in certain places might cause a... ... middle of paper ... ... followed by other schools, then the grateful studious congregation will in turn give back to their Paladins. Works Cited Anderson, Wendell. “School Dress codes and Uniform Policies” EBSCO. 2002. 7 Web. 24 Mar. 2011. Carroll High School Student Handbook 2010-2011. Premier Agendas Inc. Print. 24 Mar. 2011. “Constitutional Law—Free Speech Clause—Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas School District’s Dress Code Under Intermediate Scrutiny.” Harvard Law Review 123.8 (Jun. 2010): 2088-2095. Inspire. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. Holding, Reynolds. “Speaking Up for Themselves.” Time 169.21 May 21. Inspire. Web. 30 March 2011 Jahn, Karon L. “School Dress Codes v. The First Amendment: Ganging up on Student Attire.” EBSCO. 1992. 3-2. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. I “You Shouldn’t Aim to High with a Dress Code.” Maclean’s 120.35/36 9 Oct. 2007: 80. Inspire. Web. 11 Apr. 2011.
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