In Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York, nearly 200 young female students have been sent home or given detention for violating the dress code.
While dress codes have been enforced for year, there’s a recent perception that it’s predominantly girls who are targeted as “violators.” The dress code includes rules such as: tanks tops must not have spaghetti straps, no mesh tops of any kind, and no crop tops or low cut shirts. Shorts and skirts have to be modest length (to your fingertips), and the list goes on. These dress code guidelines are implemented because it’s considered a distraction to male students within the learning environment.
When considering fashion choices, female students should not be held responsible for the distraction of male students.
It is not fair or equal that girls have to dress a certain way to accommodate male students. When girls are sent home for their “distracting” outfits it takes time away from their education. When girls do stand up for their actions and freedom of expression to wear what they choose, they are punished for defending their choice to wear what they want. When male students have their boxers or underwear showing by sagging their pants they don’t get the same punishments, they are given a pass as it not seen as an issue in today’s society. Female students need to know that their body isn’t a object or a distraction.
The current dress code is teaching girls to be ashamed, not modest.
“Schools must develop policies that do not shame girls or underestimate boys by assuming that they cannot behave appropriately around girls”(Valenti).
It is time to revisit the current dress code and change things so it isn’t biased against female students.
Calling a female’s body a distraction is a way to put down a girls pride and objectify her, and that just needs to stop.