Dress Code Breakdown

Reasonable rules make for a better learning environment

Torin Steil

After the dress code changed this year, interests spiked in what the dress code really needs to look like. From what students say, the majority of the school likes this year’s dress code more than previous years. Although Decatur’s dress code has improved, not all districts’ policies are well-liked by students. Effective dress codes need to deliver a balance of appropriateness, individuality and comfort, while not being too formal.

Dress codes exist to stop students from wearing clothes that reveal too much or disrupt the classroom. Administration restricts clothes that distract students from learning effectively. Exposing too much of one’s body makes other students uncomfortable and unable to focus. Students need to wear appropriate clothes to help establish a comfortable environment for learning.

Students come to schools to learn skills and gain knowledge. Students need to dress maturely, but not necessarily professionally. In a job, employees provide a service, and employers want the service to look reputable in every way, including the dress of its employees. In schools, students work for themselves, the public delivers no judgement on how the kids dress for their “jobs.”

Students, parents, administrators and teachers cite reasons for strict dress codes and even uniforms such as making shopping for school clothes easier and taking social pressure away from students. However, schools still can carry out their function just as well when dress codes are more lenient. Regardless of how students are perceived, they will learn if they make academics their first priority. While schools provide plenty of student interaction, the impact of fashion trends falls short of the purpose of schools: to teach kids. 

Teenagers’ everyday lives consist of going to school for most of their day. Kids deserve comfort in the place they learn, eat and work. Dress codes need to accommodate for all the different actions each student carries out such as traveling between classes, sitting for hours and performing in extracurriculars.

The diverse beliefs of the world makes it hard to design a dress code that makes everyone happy, but no matter what people deem school appropriate, they need to wear comfortable but mature, casual clothes to let schools achieve their goals of bringing up generations with a good, solid education.