School dress codes have been a very controversial topic lately. With social media helping to spread the stories of students that feel like their schools have taken these rules too far people all around the country are outraged over public school dress codes and how they oversexualize pre-teen and teenage girls and limit the clothes students can wear. To help fully understand this hot button issue and establish a point of view I will speak of some of the history of dress codes, why I believe they are unnecessarily restrictive, inconsistent, and unfair, and some arguments that are promoting these codes.
The first dress code laws were established in 1969 by the US Supreme Court. The case that brought this law was the Tinker vs Des Moines Independent School where several students wore black armbands in a planned protest. The Court essentially decided that schools may limit student expression (such as enforcing dress codes) if there is a legitimate concern that such expression will be disruptive to the learning environment or violate the rights of others. Today, most states have laws that allow school boards to make dress code rules for students within their district to promote a safe, disciplined school environment. According to a survey of school principals conducted in the 2013-14 school year by the National Center for Education Statistics 53% of elementary, 70% of middle, and 64% of public high schools enforced strict dress codes. Now that you know some about the origins of these dress codes let us look at how they are unnecessarily restrictive, inconsistent, and unfair.
To start off there is no gold standard for what is acceptable attire in school. School districts right next to each other could have...
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... codes, how they are unnecessarily restrictive, inconsistent, and unfair, and some counterarguments, you probably want to know what you can do about it. Doing something as simple as emailing the board of education in your district can make a huge difference. There are also tons of petitions that you can sign online to help amend dress codes in public schools all across America. There are ones you can sign on change.org, gopetition.com, ipetitions.com, and even facebook.com. I do not think we should through all the dress codes out the window but some of the dress codes today take it was too far. Amending these dress codes would boost student morale and giving students more freedom will make them more responsible. Not to mention without the distractions of worrying about getting caught for dress code infractions, students can focus on what’s really important, learning.
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