Natalie Greenwood

Whether they are adorned in rips and tears or in clean condition, most of what is worn by high school students is determined by the school’s dress code.

A lot of clothing requirements on the dress code are known by the students and teachers of West. For example, one can not wear clothes showing back or midriff, and absolutely no spikes are allowed with school policy. Whether it’s a uniform or free wear, most schools in America have a dress code. Some schools crack down on how long shorts must be, while others do not allow spaghetti straps.

Dress codes can be a good and an essential set of rules. American History teacher Jessica Hill would like the idea of a uniform. “I’ve said for years, and this is not gonna be popular, I would love to see our school go to a uniform,” said Hill. She has recently taught at a poorer school and thought it was unfair to the kids who did not have the money to buy the newest clothing trends. All Hill said she wants is same colored pants and shirts.

Senior Carsyn Owens says she has the same opinion on uniforms. “I feel like its appropriate,” said Owens. Without the dress code, a student may show up wearing something that could result in teasing or negative comments.

Freshman Emily Mettlach said she does not see the point in having a dress code. “I do not think it is good or bad. If people do not follow it when it is present, I do not see the point of having it,” said Mettlach. There is controversy over whether or not girls follow the dress code.

“I definitely say more girls but I think that’s because our style has more variety ,” said Owens. However, Hill brings up a valid point and defends girls in the dress code. “Young girls don’t follow it more because there are more rules geared towards females than males,” said Hill.  

A lot of rules are set for females but some males have the tendency to wear clothing that could possibly suggest drugs, alcohol, or gang affiliation, and males have a higher likelihood to sag their pants more than females. “In any given situation, no matter what any administrator says, there is going to be a high school student who is going to contradict and go against what they are told,” said Mettlach.

Maybe one problem is that students cannot access the dress code. If students do not know where to find it, they might not recognize the clothing they are wearing could potentially get them in trouble. “I do not think our current dress code should be more accessible because whether it is accessible or not, there are going to be people who will not follow it even if they see it,” said Mettlach.

More people may become more cautious when dressing themselves, but knowing what the dress code says, it won’t put a complete stop to it. “I don’t think it’s really necessary I think it’s on the handbook so now I don’t think there’s really a problem with that because that’s where it should go if you have any questions,” said Owens.

The dress code is found under the Students/Parents menu on the school website labeled as “Student Handbook”. “I do think it should be more accessible… we don’t focus on it as much as we should,” said Hill. West is focusing more on other educational objectives rather than putting some kind of importance on dress code.

If someone were to wear a shirt that promoted drugs, alcohol, or any kind of gang affiliation, some students may feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, some will not. “It wouldn’t bother me personally but that’s just because i don’t get bothered by what other people do it would make me think a little bit less of the person just because they’re publicizing something that they shouldn’t be doing,” said Owens.

Seeing someone with the amount of confidence to wear clothing that is too small, short or inappropriate might cause worry to a student. “I, personally, would not care even if it did offend me because I would not be able to put a stop to it, especially since many people have strong beliefs,” said Mettlach.

A student passing through the hall would not exactly stop another student and call them out because of what they’re wearing and how it makes them uncomfortable. Plus if someone were to do so, there is a slim chance the student would listen to an outside opinion. “If somebody is wearing a violent shirt or somebody is wearing a Bud Light tee shirt that’s distracting to the school environment,” said Hill. One can mistakenly promote drinking or drug use by wearing an alcohol shirt or drug shirt.

“I think some of it might be a little outdated in terms of hats and stuff,” said Hill. She says that stocking caps should be allowed because of the current cold weather.

Hill supports the idea of not allowing revealing clothes (i.e. halter tops, midriff or back showing shirts, and short shorts).  “I wouldn’t say the dress code is good or bad I would say again it’s appropriate just because they put in those rules for a reason,” said Owens. Changing the dress code could be too much effort for something not many people would read and follow.

In the end, the dress code is enforced for every student. While some may not follow the guidelines the dress code remains apart of expectations for students.