Provocative Choices Or Just Biased Freedom


By Riko Ikutame, Reporter

For many students, clothing is their way of expressing themselves, but what happens when schools limit that expression? If ideas and criticism continue to be shot down, our well-being as teenagers won’t last. Dress codes have been around since public education has been in the picture, and as our morals have changed through the decades, we’ve gone through school uniforms to our choice of clothing. But everything doesn’t always go as noted on paper. These rules would ban multiple ways for people to express themselves. These would include a ban for straps for girls and tank tops for boys. Many students voice their opinion on our school dress code, however, none of them have had the opportunity for their voices to be heard. Do students agree or disagree with the many rules there are in the dress code?  

Luke Brown, a junior at Greenwood High school, has strong views on Greenwood’s dress code. He states, “ I disagree heavily with our dress code because it is unfair in many ways. The dress code for women especially is way too strict and doesn’t allow them to express themselves at all. They say it is distracting but the only people disrupting the class when telling them to change their outfit is the teacher.” Luke expressed more of his feelings when asked if he believes the dress code is fairly enforced on both male and female students. “No, girls get it way worse in the case of being called ‘provocative’ when they wear something that is too ‘short’ for teachers to look at.” Luke also highlights how he sees dress code changing in the future. “To be honest, I see no change in the future which is something very unfair for girls at the school to have to deal with. School is supposed to be getting us ‘real-world ready’ but when we express ourselves at all, they shut us down. As a man, the male dress code is so much easier to follow because we tend to wear basic jeans or shorts along with a t-shirt or hoodie.”

Similar to Luke’s point of view, Kimberly Garcia, a sophomore at Greenwood High School, also has a strong perspective on this topic. She states, “I do not agree with the school’s dress code. Especially parts that require girls to cover their chest to an overexaggerated point. We can not control how our bodies grow and mature. I also think that schools should stop sexualizing young girls because our bodies grow differently. If a bigger chested girl wore the same shirt as a skinnier girl, the bigger chested girl would be dress coded for showing too much cleavage. If it were up to me, I would allow girls shoulders to not be covered and I believe that you should be allowed to wear a shirt that shows at least 2 ½ or 3 inches of midriff. Any more than the 2 ½ – 3 inches is where the problem starts.” Kimberly has had a personal experience with being dress coded. “A teacher has told me to cover myself up and I’m a bit on the thicker side so clothes look more different on me than other girls. There was a girl who was skinnier than me wearing the same exact shirt yet the teacher did not say anything to her. That honestly made me feel bad about myself that me, a thicker girl, was treated differently than the skinnier girl.”  

Another sophomore at Greenwood, Shelby Hill, voices her opinion on the current state of school attire. “I don’t agree with our dress code because I think that it is super strict and it takes away from creativity with people and the way they dress.” However, Shelby does see a possible change in the future, “I think gradually the dress code will become less strict as time goes on because more and more people are protesting against it and people will finally realize that it is unreasonable.” She goes on to say how she would modify the dress code if she could, “I would definitely change a lot of the girls rules and the way that they have to dress because I feel as though the girls are sexualized and they have to change a lot of the stuff they have to wear such as the length of shorts or bra/tank top straps. Guys have a lot more freedom when it comes to attire and I believe that it should be fairly equal.” 

Students all around the school continue to think this way for a reason. Dress codes have become unreasonable as well as biased and unfair. As shown through  Greenwood Students, Luke, Kimberly and Shelby, students are clearly unhappy with the current state of the dress code. Schools should of course maintain an environment where students are not dressing in a manner that is offensive to any other student; this is all still possible to do without restricting their creativity and self expression. We as students should continue to seek recognition from the school board about our conflicts.