Dress Code

Is it Time for a Change?

It’s no surprise that Needles High School’s dress code has been a hot topic since school has reopened. Everyone has their own opinion on how our school’s guidelines have affected our students and how they express themselves. But how exactly does everyone feel about the dress code? Does everyone have the same opinion? If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that the dress code is not what it should be.

Schools everywhere have had restrictions on what their students are allowed to wear for many years. Many may argue that because dress codes have been around for so long, there is no point in protesting now. Although this is true, it does not suppress the frustration among the long line of women that have been restricted and unable to express themselves.

Some people have strong opinions on the restrictions schools have, but let’s talk about the ones who aren’t affected or maybe have no bias at all, men. When finding students to interview, I found that most male students did not have an opinion on the dress code because it does not affect them. Most agreed that because they do not have to contemplate what they wear, they had no bias on the topic. Mrs. Kelley Breaux commented, “I get why we have one because it can be distracting. But, I don’t like being the fashion police.”

Dress code regulations in all states are seen as sexist for many reasons. Dress codes are usually separated by gender with the most restrictions being put on the female. If a male student came onto campus wearing short shorts and a tank top, he would be disregarded, if not simply warned. However, if a woman came wearing the same clothes, she would be sent home or given detention. It doesn’t seem ethical to restrict only women. One NHS student said, “I think girls should be able to wear whatever makes them comfortable. If it does become a distraction, boys need to learn not to sexualize us. I think that’s the problem, girls are called names for what they wear, but do we honestly do anything about the boys and what they think? Instead of telling girls how to clothe their bodies, teach boys to be respectful.” They are not the only ones who hold this opinion. Freshman,  Ashlyn O’Dell said, “It (dress code) is extremely sexist towards women. I think that the administration is unreasonable. What is distracting about my outfit? That my shoulders are showing? You take away from our education when you code us and pull us out of class. Our education matters. But when you dress code a female for wearing what she is COMFORTABLE in, not only are you taking away from her education, you are taking away any confidence she had. Why? Because you told her it was inappropriate to show an inch of her stomach.”

Our weather is an important factor in the fight against dress codes. During the summer, most girls would much rather wear a tank top and shorts than a t-shirt and capris. During an interview, Ms. McKee stressed how the dress code affects even the smaller girls. “It’s hot, and I think my daughter who’s in 3rd grade should be allowed to wear spaghetti straps or a sundress to school.” Many agree with this opinion and argue that dress codes do not take enough consideration into the comfortability aspect of being able to wear what we want.

Some teachers disagree with the dress code, and also don’t like being ‘the fashion police,’ so they disregard it for the most part. Girls never wear anything super inappropriate anyways. We know our limits, and the majority of us aren’t comfortable wearing clothing that is too revealing. Many of us do not appreciate how restricted we are, especially when the guys don’t have to change anything. Guys are allowed to express themselves however they like. Although this is different from how girls express themselves, that doesn’t mean that we should be targeted for it. 

Another thing to consider is how trends affect the way girls dress and the clothes available for purchase. Popular clothing today (for women) are crop tops and spaghetti strapped-tank tops, both of which are not allowed at school. When you make something hard to acquire, it becomes almost impossible to force people to use or have it. Not to mention that ‘normal’ clothes are now even more expensive than they used to be. Journalist Braley Dodson discussed this topic in an article he wrote for the Daily Herald, “One of those is items in school and district dress codes stating that clothing must be clean and in good repair. Pacheco said it’s a rule that makes sense, but could negatively impact students who are homeless or come from low-income families.”

Why should girls have to hide themselves? Because guys can’t handle it? It’s frustrating that our comfortability has to revolve around a guy’s lack of self-control. If a guy wears a tank top, girls aren’t going to stare at him and tell him he’s showing too much skin. We aren’t going to make him feel bad about what he’s wearing or what he looks like. I think boys need to learn to respect women before we base our judgment of a woman off of a guy’s opinion. Guys don’t care about the dress code either, so it seems unfair that we have to change everything just because the rule makers think that boys at our school can’t handle seeing skin on a female. You can find a copy of the NHS Dress Code in your school planner or follow the link above.





This poll has ended.

Do you believe that the school dress code policy needs to be rewritten?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.