Sexism In The School Dress Code?

Faith Gerdes, Staff Writer

Many students have strong opinions on the school dress code. There are two questions to be asked: should the school dress code be enforced and is it sexist?

Since August, the beginning of the school year, many Dover Area High School students have voiced their complaints and concerns about the dress code. Female students feel targeted because of the margerity of rules pointed toward their types of clothing. 

I believe that the school dress code is somewhat geared more toward females, but it’s not only the actual dress code that is sexist but how some teachers and faculty handle the dress code. Senior Azul Bellot agrees, “I think that it is sexist, promotes rape culture, and sexualizes young women.” 

In the student handbook it states, “The board will not interfere with the rights of students and their parents to make decisions regarding their appearance except when their choices disrupt the educational program of the school or affect the health and safety of others.” This implies that female body parts such as shoulders and your stomach are a distraction to the classroom and can stop other students’ education. Rather than teaching young women that they should cover themselves, young men should be taught to be respectful. 

The dress code states that students can not wear bare midriff tops. These are tops that show any part of the body above the hips. This means that students can not wear clothing showing their stomachs. This is a style that is mainly worn by females, as most of the students that would wear crop tops would be female students. The dress code also rules out halter tops, this is yet another type of top that mainly female students wear. The dress code also tells female students that they can’t wear shirts that have “spaghetti straps.” 

These three rules make students, primarily young girls, cover up their shoulders and stomach. As neither of those body parts are sexual organs, I don’t agree that they have to be covered. When asking students what they would change about the school dress code, the main response was that they should be able to show their shoulders and a few inches of their stomach.