An Editorial by Harley Burger
According to an anonymous survey regarding the Dress Code Policy at Madison, 72.7% of students believe that “Enforcing dress code negatively affects the learning environment.”
What negative effects does the Dress Code Policy create? How has a safety measure become a source of discomfort and disagreement amongst students, staff, and guardians?
The Dress Code Policy at Madison is not inherently harmful to its students. However many believe, that the Dress Code Policy has a predisposition against certain demographics.
Perhaps the most notable complaint among students is what is perceived to be selective enforcement of our dress code.
Many students also argued that the removal of students from their classrooms is disruptive and in-class time is wasted when a student is removed from the classroom and forced to change into “appropriate attire.”
There is no doubt that students have a responsibility to adhere to Madison policies, but taking away his/her opportunity to learn is counterintuitive.
Quite often, the removal of a student from a classroom is far more “distracting” than his or her apparel. One student confided, “It [enforcing strict dress code policies] harms the learning environment because students are being taken out of class to change.” Above all else, students are attending school to get a valuable education. Hindering this process by removing a student from class is poor for morale and the educational well-being of the student. Along with the incumbent issue of losing valuable learning time, the seemingly subjective nature of the dress code has led to animosity between the administration and the student body. “The problem with the dress code is its subjectivity. It is not equally enforced throughout school, but rather, seems to target female students with particular body types.
“I have no issue following the dress code, but it’s difficult when it seems everything I wear is “out of dress code”, said one Junior. When asked whether “The dress code at Madison is more strictly enforced upon female students than male students,” a striking 97% of voters agreed with this bold claim.
“I’d like for [the enforcement of dress code] to be less disruptive of female education” commented one student.
It seems the issue with the Dress Code Policy doesn’t lie within the policies themselves, but instead, lies within the disproportionate enforcement among students.
Eagerly, many students shared their solutions to the great dress code debate.
One passionate student said, “The dress code should become more lenient and accommodating to different body types, the weather, and other uncontrollable factors in a student’s life.” Another added, “Tank tops and shorts shorter than fingertips should be allowed … none of these things are distracting, and every time someone gets dress coded it’s taking time out of a student and an APap’s schedule.” -Students are not advocating for the abolition for the Dress Code Policy at Madison. In fact, many students are zealous to discuss their solutions hoping to put an end to the dress code debate.
There is a clear consensus among the masses. Students are not upset that the dress code exists. Nor is their issue with educational authorities across NEISD. Students are upset because of the Dress Code’s apparent prejudice against female students and other particular demographics. Education is both a gift and a right; students should not be denied the value of a good education for the sake of adhering to a somewhat-hurtful policy. As students, teachers, administrators, and parents, we must all work together to achieve peace regarding the Madison Dress Code Policy. Clear communication and transparency create a gateway for positive change.