Story by Justice Nawman and Lindsay Long

 

Living in the middle of South Carolina, residents of the Midlands are cognizant of how hot it is when students return back to school. Tank tops and shorts are usually the daily attire of a teenager in the summer time, and with a new school year beginning it may be hard to transition back into meeting specific dress code requirements.

Dutch Fork’s dress code requirements are very specific. Clothing and hair must be appropriate for the school setting, no vulgar or obscene words and symbols should be permitted, gang and drug symbols are prohibited, hats and other head accessories may be worn only on special occasions, proper shoes must be worn and pants must be worn at the natural waistline, hiding undergarments. With all of these rules and limitations placed upon students, it’s not a surprise that many students violate the dress code without even thinking of the consequences.

Fashion today is constantly evolving and teenagers are quick to follow the latest trends. Sometimes teachers and principals begin to assume that what students are wearing may be inappropriate. A tank top or a pair of shorts that do not meet the requirements could be deemed disruptive to the learning environment, but in reality, it is the complete opposite. While some outfits may seem questionable, what students wear is their business and an outlet to express themselves. Once we take away their source of individuality, students may feel stripped of their identities. Dress code is very important in enforcing the uniformity of the school and may help to keep it functioning smoothly. When it comes to disciplining students there are more important issues left to be resolved.

For these reasons and more, a dress code should be enforced, but not as strictly as it is now. Students should be free to express themselves how they want, and school officials should be a little more lenient on what students wear.

What may seem detrimental to the learning environment could turn out to be the most beneficial in the end and although school is a place for students to learn, it is also a place for students to broaden their horizons and try new things, whether that be a new activity or a new style, the possibilities are endless.