With the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, dress code enforcement has become stricter at Cedar Shoals.
The main change this year is the prohibition of wearing hats inside the building. Hats are a problem when it comes to identifying students in security cameras.
Principal DeAnne Varitek said, “It is much harder to identify a student on these cameras if there is a hat because it provides a shading.”
According to Mrs. Varitek, “It’s a common practice in high schools not to wear [headwear].”
In addition to the hat ban, administration is attempting to enforce harsher procedures for students who are out of dress code. The consequence of breaking dress code consists of a referral and a change of attire. If students do not cooperate, then they are sent to ISS.
With this change, some students are not fully aware of this procedure, which may be a reason as to why so many students constantly break the policy.
When asked about the disciplinary consequences, sophomore Will York responded, “Can’t you get sent home or something?” The actual consequence is ISS for repeat offenses when students have no other option for replacing their clothing.
Principal Varitek believes dress code enforcement will promote new opportunities for students.
“When you guys are assertive, and appropriately ready for it [business opportunities], the opportunities will open up to you,” said Principal Mrs. DeAnne Varitek. “What will be beneficial to the students if we have a business leader in the school?”.
“Obviously everyone would agree that we cannot come to school naked, but at what point when it comes to more conservative parameters do we all agree?” said Varitek.
Predictably, students disagree with some of the rules and procedures.
“I understand why we have dress code, but some parts are unreasonable,” said Brooke Fraysher, sophomore. “For example, I don’t really understand how showing shoulders can be an issue. Also, the thing about shorts having to be fingertip length, some people have longer arms or shorter legs and it’s not proportionate to everyone’s body to have that rule. Like you could have on something that is not reaching your fingertips, but it could still completely cover you and be respectable to wear.”
“To me, you can’t logically explain how the way someone dresses affects how they act,” said York. “Nobody’s going to walk into school saying ‘Look, I’m wearing collared shirt, I’m gonna ace my math test today!’ or ‘I’m wearing baggy jeans and a tank top, I’m gonna fail.’”
Students raised another concern: that the implementation of harsher restrictions may actually provoke students to rebel more against the rules.
“Dress code does not affect student’s behaviors, but it might make them want to rebel against it,” said sophomore, Ansley Guntermann.
“I feel like dressing a certain way does not affect student’s behaviors, but some students feel the need to rebel against it, or get mad about it because some of the rules are unfair,” said Fraysher.
Some teachers believe dress code in highschool and future jobs have close ties.
“I think the dress code is really important in preparing students to be ready for the work force,” said Mrs. Elizabeth Haas, Math Department Chair.
Not only does dress code affect students at school, but when students get a job, they will be ready and will be aware of the expectations.
“Every job has a dress code and allowing kids to start functioning within that in their teen years just makes them more ready to adhere to dress codes in the future,” Mrs Haas said.