Dress code: the discussion continues

Implementing a dress code at our school has been a topic of discussion for the past few years. The purpose of a dress code is to foster a learning-friendly environment  and prevent focus on clothing from becoming a distraction for students. But who decides what is appropriate or “distracting” and what is not? Leggings have become an increasingly controversial clothing accessory and seem to be one of the main reasons for implementing a dress code. As summer approaches, parent’s concern over what girls wear to school increases and implementing a dress code seems to be the perfect solution. “Spandex-like” garments have been listed as revealing and even sexually provocative and the fact that school administrators view girls’ athletic wear as “sexually provocative” is highly disconcerting. This sends a harmful message to young women and implies that we are just an object distracting male students. Instead of deciding what girls are allowed to wear, we should teach male students not to sexualize normal female body parts. If the school decides to implement a dress code, it should be applied equally among male and female students.


“When I was in Grade 9 [in the 70s], girls weren’t allowed to wear pants – at all,” she said. “When I was in Grade 10, we could wear pants, but not jeans. And it wasn’t until I was in Grade 11 that girls were allowed to wear jeans. And of course all this time, the boys had been wearing jeans.” -Susan Rodger