Dress Code: Two Views Take Aim at School Policy



Dress code has always been a hot topic at ODA. Even with things constantly changing and being regulated, you can’t make everyone happy. The dress code now at ODA is almost the same for both girls and boys: collared shirt (polo or button down), khaki pants, or any other colored pants as long as they aren’t blue jean, and college logo or plain sweatshirts. The only difference for boys is that they must wear a belt and have their shirt tucked in.

Last week, Mrs. Dougherty, Ms. Dooley, and Dr. Zitani met with students to discuss the dress code. The topics covered were the basic things like sweatshirts and short lengths. Many teachers feel the dress code is important to the school because how students look is a representation of what the school is. But there are two clear sides to this argument. There are others in the community who think a dress code is not an important part of school culture and that the code should be significantly loosened or eliminated.

Writers at the Bolt are divided on the issue of dress code. What follows is two writers views on the subject. Hailey Schlotthauer’s conservative perspective and Emma Young’s more liberal view of what dress code should be. We invite you to comment on the story and share your perspectives too.

Dress Code: Two Views 

Hailey: a Conservative View

With coming to ODA, you are fully aware of the fact that there will be a dress code. If you tour the school, you see how everyone dresses. It’s not like it’s a surprise. It’s  just a dress code. It’s how we present the school, and to a new family touring, I’m sure we all look nice. I think dress code is a good thing to have at a school. Realistically if we didn’t have a dress code, everyone might like it for a week. For a week girls might wear cute dresses or boys might wear nice jeans. But after a month, half of the school would be showing up in sweatpants.

I think we are too small of a school for that to work. At a public high school, you can get away with it because there will be a big enough mix of casual and more dressy. But here I don’t think students can blend as easily. With regards to the uniform being “sexist” or “limiting” in any regards like that, it’s not. If you’re a guy and say that how because you have to tuck in your shirt and girls don’t is sexist, you are wrong on a million different levels.

Guys look sloppy with their shirts untucked, girls don’t. That’s the difference. Girls have a bigger issue, because some girls think that uniforms are made so that a girl’s body part doesn’t distract boys at school. But once again that’s not the reason. And by the way, protesting against something as small as dress code doesn’t make you a feminist.

With all of that being said, dress code is a set of guidelines set up by the school we all agreed to go to. If you have such an issue with these guidelines, then talk to Mrs.Dougherty about changing them. The likelihood of the matter changing honestly isn’t that big. And until the guidelines do change, you have to follow them.

Emma: A Liberal Perspective

Starting off with hair color: it’s just hair color. We all are young! Who cares if somebody’s hair is bright red? NOT ME. If this school is so “accepting” then why do we oppress people who express themselves. It is just hair. It will always go back to its normal color. I’ve seens signs all around school saying how we are so open and want to accept all then why do we have to restrain our true selves.

Next up is sweatshirts. Why does it matter what type of sweatshirt we wear? A family touring the school won’t say “Oh I don’t want to send my child here because that girl over there is wearing a “pink” (Victoria Secret sweatshirt).”

On to the next article of clothing: shoes. We live in Florida the land of flip-flops and sunburns. Why can’t we wear sandals?  Most days it’s 80 degrees here and closed toe shoes aren’t all that comfortable. I understand the original problem with open-toed shoes was science and having labs, but you don’t perform a lab everyday in science. So why not just wear closed toe shoes the days you do have a lab? Or maybe for ODA open-toed shoes are just too revealing. This school “strives” to use workplace attire but last time I checked business did not have restrictions on sandals.

Pants/ shorts have also been a common issue. For some girls like myself, finding shorts that actually go to my knees is stressful. When you’re almost pushing 5’9 finding long shorts is tough. If you are blaming me for my shorts being a little above my knee, you’re blaming me for my height I CAN’T CONTROL MY HEIGHT.

All in all, I think the dress code is too overbearing and needs to be more relaxed. I think it is directly aimed at touring future students because we want to make them think that we dress professionally, but the fact is we are teenagers, not 40 year old working parents.

ODA needs to realize that and let us dress our own age. Secondly, I would like to mention that the dress code seems way more relaxed on the boys. Not once this year have I heard a boy get in trouble get in trouble for his clothes. Girls are mainly targeted. through the length or our shorts and by telling us our “clothes look to tight.” This makes us very self conscious.

So if anything, I think ODA needs to be more relaxed and open to the students and calm down with in forcing the dress code.


What do you think? Share your comments in the comments section below.