Dress codes disappearing?

by Maximum98 on September 17, 2017 - 11:03pm

Dress codes disappearing?


On September 11th 2017, CBC News uploaded an article where the Greater Victoria School District are recommending their 47 schools districts that they should only prohibit students from wearing pieces of clothing that can be described as discriminatory under the Human Rights Code by British Columbia which would mean that anything else would be allowed. According to Jordan Watters “There won’t be anything specific about the length of shorts or the width of tank tops straps. It’ll simply be about respecting diversity and inclusion.” Over the past few years, North American schools have been under fire for allegedly disproportionately restricting the clothing of female students to keep the male classmates focused on their studies. Watters talked about how the girls should not be held responsible for the claim. She continues by saying “We want to send a really strong message to the girls in our community that we support them and welcome them and we do not view them as a distraction, no matter what.” One argument from the other side of the coin that Watters dismisses is the concern night be wearing garments that have printed profanity. She says that there has not been any problem from other school districts that have eliminated the dress code. However, Watters know that this ideology is a controversial one since “there are people in our school community who really value the idea of modesty,”

To add to this article, I come from a high school were the dress code is very strict. We had one style of pants, skirts, and shorts which also were all marine blue. We had to wear buttoned shirts or long shirts that had only one style and the colors were blue, white, green or black. Even our shoes were limited. Here is the link of the rest of the dress code so you can see what my dress code looked like in its entirety (Warning the dress code description is in French). Having this dress code for me was irritating because I felt imprisoned in the school every time I would wear these clothes. I felt like the diversity of the school was erased because everyone would be wearing basically the same thing. This is why I think that the dress codes are a problem and we as a society need to make sure that school districts who have very strict dress codes should hear our displeasure about this and that everyone should wear what they feel expresses themselves without harming other people.


I think you brought up a good argument by pointing out that strict dress codes restrict diversity and self-expression for students. The teenage years, especially high school, are a time for finding yourself and your own personal style, so dress codes should not be in the way of this. The high school I came from, Heritage, had a relatively strict dress code, for the most part aimed towards girls. While they allowed items of clothing that other schools would absolutely not, such as ripped jeans and leggings (if a knee-length skirt or dress was worn over them), we were obligated to have our shoulders covered, no midriff showing and shorts were not permitted. The reason for this, according to teachers and administration, was just like what you mentioned in your article: "To avoid distracting the boys". In May 2016, all female students including myself decided we wanted to protest these sexist rules by all showing up to school wearing short shorts. This got a lot of attention and was even covered on CBC news. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/heritage-regional-dress-code-1.36...) Backed up with good arguments, this protest eventually managed to get to the ears of the student council and even the governing board. The next year, our dress code was loosened a little, now giving us the right to wear leggings alone if your shirt was mid-thigh length, and tanks tops were allowed with a cardigan worn on top. I think that it is fine to say that a minimum of modesty should be required from students, but clothing should still be a personal choice. This can work very well, as shown by the freedom in dress code we have in CEGEP: girls wear what they want to wear, yet male students can still focus on their work.

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