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OPINION: Batavia’s dress code causes more problems than it solves

By Julia Pelech

Like most schools, Batavia High School has a dress code that students must follow. The dress code keeps students from expressing themselves through their clothing because it will “disrupt the educational process.” Apparently, the female body is more distracting than the males’ because the rules seemed to be bent towards girls.

According to our handbook, our shorts are not allowed to be shorter than where our fingertips hang when we are standing. First of all, people are all built differently. If someone has short arms and short legs, they can wear shorts that are a lot shorter than someone that has longer limbs. Second of all, I feel like the length of your fingertips is an excessive length for shorts to be deemed “appropriate.”

For example, my fingertips hang about mid-thigh when I’m standing. That would mean that I am not able to wear any of the shorts that I own to school. I am not one to reveal a lot, and even I would get dress coded for the shorts that I own. A lot of girls can relate to this problem, meaning that they would have to buy new shorts just for school. Some families have already bought their share of clothing for their kids and cannot afford to buy a new set just because of this fingertip rule.

Batavia High School also has a rule that girls are not allowed to have bare torsos. Everyone has a stomach, so if you own a shirt that shows your stomach, I think it should be totally within the rules to wear it. What is it doing to your education if I decide to wear a shirt that shows my belly button? We are here to learn, not judge each other’s fashion choices of the day.

These rules are sexist towards both girls and boys because it not only restricts so many different kinds of clothing that girls can wear, but also makes the inference that all boys do is stare at women. I don’t think all of the boys will get too distracted if someone wears clothes that are deemed ‘revealing.’ We are all preoccupied with school work.

When an individual gets dress coded, they are sent down to the office. The student misses class while they get a change of clothes. Since girls are the ones getting dress coded more often, this is valuing the male education over the female. The entire reason that we have the rules against ‘revealing’ is because the skin on a girl’s body will distract her male classmates. The girl is not to blame for essentially being a girl, but she is the one punished for the actions of boys.

I know there are people that would object to my statements. “A dress code promotes a more serious school atmosphere which emphasizes academics and promotes good behavior,” says. I understand this because some people try way to hard on their appearance, and would be a lot less stressed if they had a dress code. This would free up some space in their mind, and they could focus better. At the same time, I think that you don’t have to try so hard when you are only going to school to sit down and learn all day.

To conclude, I understand that some males would be distracted by a little bit of a girl’s stomach showing, but it’s the boy’s fault for compromising his education by staring.

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