What Is The Purpose Behind School Dress Codes?

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What Is The Purpose Behind School Dress Codes?

Nikki Haller, Staff Writer

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A school dress code is a set of written and more often, unwritten rules regarding clothing. The standards of dress/grooming have changed over the years, but it has always been the goal of schools to maintain an educational environment that is safe and beneficial to learning. Your school probably has a dress code, that’s different from other schools.

School dress codes may differ depending on many things. Some of those things may include specific classes your school might have, what kind of school you may go to, where the school is located, and the type of people who live in the area.

George Clear, the principal of Alliance High School says, “The purpose of a dress code is to have safety. For example, if you have a woodshop class you wouldn’t wear sandals. It’s pretty straightforward. Dress codes are a constant education for students. The school is taxpayer funded, so students will have the safety they need and they will learn from it. This is an education institution, not a social club. Our purpose is to educate.”

Alliance, Scottsbluff, Hemingford, and Chadron dress codes are all about the same, however they all vary in their own way. They all have their strict rules, but some have even stricter rules than others.

In Alliance, the dress code includes; no clothing or jewelry that could be used as a weapon, no clothing that shows an inappropriate amount of skin, no clothing or jewelry that is gang related. An interesting rule is that visible body piercings (other than ears) were not considered to be appropriate.

In Scottsbluff, these are some of the basic school dress-codes; no revealing clothing, no pajamas, no tops/shirts that don’t cover the shoulders, no excessive holes in jeans. However, an interesting rule is that freshman must keep backpacks in their lockers during school hours. Alliance doesn’t have a no backpack rule.

In Hemingford, their dress code includes; no clothing that shows an inappropriate amount of skin, clothing/jewelry that’s gang related, head wear including hats. The rule that stuck out to me the most was shorts of mid-thigh length or longer may be worn during periods of daylight savings time only for K-6. Grades 7-12 may wear shorts that meet this guideline year round. This rule depends on what grade you’re in.

In Chadron, their dress code consists of the basic rules; dress should be clean, neat, and in good taste, the student’s dress shouldn’t affect other student’s learning, no spaghetti straps. If a student violates the dress code, they will receive a 1st offense. A 1st offense is when the student can call home for clothes, but if clothes can’t be brought then it’ll result in ISS (in school suspension) assigned by the school administration.

The purpose of school dress codes is to provide guidance to students as to appropriate attire for school and at any school function. In addition, the dress code is a fundamental to helping students learn a skill, which is required for success in getting and keeping employment linked to appearance. School dress codes are great ways to teach students the importance of a respectable appearance which is a lesson that can positively impact their self-respect and self-esteem.


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