Dress code leaves too much uncovered

Keep it classy, Free State.

When it comes to clothing in schools, some find certain clothing inappropriate and disruptive that others may see simply as a display of the first amendment. Freedom of expression is a privilege, but it can be taken too far.

When there’s no mystery left as to what someone’s entire stomach, butt cheeks and cleavage looks like, there’s a problem. There’s so many other ways to express yourself; lack of clothing does not have to be one of them.

“There are male teachers at this school who you are forcing to sexualize you,” English teacher Elaine Elliot said. “You’re forcing them to think about you and see you in a way that no one wants to see you.”

There’s a right time and place for certain clothing. School is not the place to bare all skin. It can come down to difference of opinion when it comes to what a girl thinks is the appropriate skirt length and what an administrator thinks.

The administrators’ opinions on dress code are important if they have the guts to say something about it. Many of the administrators are parents, maybe even grandparents, and they don’t want to see students half-dressed at school, just as they wouldn’t want to see their children that way. Besides, if you wouldn’t wear it in front of your parents and grandparents, why would you wear it to school?

The administrators, however, often don’t speak up about dress code. Especially for a male teacher, going up to a girl and telling her that her exposed body is causing a distraction is probably not first on a list of desired teacher to student conversations. It would be much easier to tell a boy to remove his hat.

When it comes to boys and girls and the dress code, there is a double standard. Although boys rarely cause a distraction with their clothing, they are much more likely to be called on it if they did, rather than a girl. When addressing girls about their clothing, many teachers have a small to non-existent comfort zone.

“I’ve seen a girl just have a bra on and a see-through shirt (and not get in trouble), and I’ve seen a kid get in trouble for a hat,” Elliot said.

If teachers are so concerned with the dangers of hat-wearing, they might want to pay attention to the near child-pornography walking in the halls.