RHS dress code defeats its own purpose


Julia Labban

When getting ready for school, female students have to take care to make sure their clothes are appropriate according to the standards of RHS, while males basically have nothing to worry about. The dress code blames those who are wearing “provocative” clothing, rather than working to teach self control to those who are “distracted” by said clothes.

The policy on dress and grooming for RHS states that there will be no interference from staff unless someone’s clothing “disrupts the educational program of the district” or “creates disorder” in school, the main example usually being other students/staff seeing an individual with a certain type of clothing as distracting sexually.

While yes, the line needs to be drawn somewhere when it comes to clothing in school, it should also be reasonable. A student getting sent home to change because their shoulders were too “distracting” is ridiculous. No one is going to be distracted to the point where it disrupts learning due to some bare shoulders. The school dress code should be revised to make the boundaries for clothing options a little more realistic.

Even more important than the actual rules of the dress code is the principle behind the disciplinary action that takes place when the rules are broken. Females are told to change at school or grab a new change of clothes at home. Students are taught that the wearers of provocative clothing are to blame rather than the people that are so distracted by them.

Most importantly, isn’t the whole point of dress code to make sure that clothing doesn’t take away from a student’s learning experience? Because if so, the rules of the code are quite hypocritical. By halting a student’s learning to go change, the dress code is causing the one thing that it was made to prevent. Therefore the dress code is not only ridiculous and morally flawed, it also is self destructive in its ways.

The dress code at RHS was made with good intentions, but it does need some alterations to make it reasonable, morally sound and effective. Students should not be reprimanded for something as silly as bearing their shoulders. They should also be taught  to control themselves rather than wait for someone who is provocatively dressed to be reprimanded. While these are definitely changes that need to take place, the most important piece to take away from this is that the dress code is flawed in such a way that it hinders students’ learning experiences in an effort to make sure that students’ learning experiences aren’t hindered. Clearly there is a problem there. RHS should find another way to keep the school running smoothly while still making sure that no one has to miss class.