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Unsigned Editorial: Non-Discriminatory Dress Code: It’s About Time


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    In a time when demonstrations of female empowerment are taking the world by storm, the idea that school dress codes are unfair and blatantly discriminate against female students has gained more and more traction. Because of this, it makes sense that at the start of this school year, the UC High Dress Code was a controversial topic of discussion.

    According to the UC High Website, “The intent of any code of conduct is to ensure a positive teaching and learning environment for all students and staff. The code should provide enough flexibility to accommodate personal taste but minimize campus and classroom disruptions (intentional or unintentional) in order that teaching and learning continues to be the focus of the classrooms.” This principle alone has merit. However, when you look at the items the school deemed a “distraction” in the past, it is clear that the code mainly applied to girls. The old code further stated that high shorts, skirts, or dresses and crop, “spaghetti strap,” tank, and halter style tops are not acceptable clothes to wear to school (sandiegounified.org).

    As a result of the old code, female students felt targeted and scrutinized for their clothing choices. Junior Shayna Meltzer said, “I totally feel the old dress code was unfair towards girls. I know that most of the items deemed ‘inappropriate’ were addressed towards girls, and I personally don’t know one boy who has been dress coded this year. Also, I have a lot of friends who felt like they were victimized by the dress code because of what they look like — some girls could get away with wearing tube tops and stuff like that but others couldn’t. In my opinion, If it’s not going to be enforced for everybody fairly, it shouldn’t be in place at all.” Many female students  noticed that certain body types were being targeted more than others. Girls with larger, curvier frames seemed to be dress coded for the same clothes that smaller, skinnier girls got away with wearing.

It will be nice to wear clothing that is acceptable virtually everywhere else.”

As a result of the old code, female students felt targeted and scrutinized.”

   Luckily, this year, UC High’s Site Governance Team has taken measures to update the dress code in a manner that addresses these concerns. This proposed new dress code is to be  modeled off of the Oregon NOW [National Organization for Women] Student Dress Code. According to the official Oregon NOW website, under this code, the only things students absolutely cannot wear include clothing with “…violent language or images, images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity), hate speech, profanity, pornography, images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class, visible underwear, bathing suits, [and] helmets or headgear that obscures the face (except as a religious observance)” (noworegon.org).

   Additionally, students must wear clothing “in a way such that genitals, buttocks, and nipples are covered with opaque material. Cleavage should not have coverage requirements”. Midriff baring shirts, ripped jeans, tank tops, including spaghetti straps, halter tops, and tube tops are all acceptable under this new code. Living in San Diego means warm weather most of the year round. It will be nice to be able to wear clothing that is acceptable virtually everywhere else in this town to school now.

    We, the editorial board of the Commander, commend the Site Governance Team and administration for working to recognize and rectify the issues that came with the old dress code. We hope that the recently proposed  dress code passes in January.

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Unsigned Editorial: Non-Discriminatory Dress Code: It’s About Time