The Pros and Cons of the School Dress Code


What do you think of the dress code? Leave your thoughts below or on our Facebook/twitter accounts. Cartoon by Cameron Godfrey.

The student-parent handbook for the 2014-2015 school year, as published on the Beachwood City Schools website, describes the student dress code as follows:

“Head coverings of any kind, with the exception of those worn for religious reasons, are prohibited. This includes hats, hoods, scarves and stocking caps, for example. Clothing that does not cover a student’s midriff, tank tops and strapless tops are not considered appropriate school apparel. Student’s undergarments should not be visible. Administrators or their designees shall interpret appropriateness of dress.”

According to Asst. Principal Ryan Patti, the dress code is set in place in order to prevent distractions in our learning environment.

“Would you feel comfortable if one of your fellow classmates, male or female, walked in to class in a very revealing bathing suit?” Patti asked. He further explained:

“If another student were to feel uncomfortable based on another’s attire, that’s where the school needs to set the threshold … [A student’s clothing] can’t be taking away from the educational environment for someone else.”

In this issue, two students consider the fairness of the school’s dress code policy and whether it should be enforced in school and at football games.

Check out how the times have changed! This excerpt comes from an article in a 1962 edition of the Beachcomber.

Is your hairdo appropriate for school? Is your makeup too thick? Are your skirts too short? We hope all the girls will consider these questions and many others of the same like.

Recently a new group was begun at Beachwood High. The Girls Cabinet, among other things, set up standards for the girls pertaining to dress and behavior. These are not rules to punish you, but suggestions to help you. The Cabinet does not want to try to police you, but merely aid.

In many neighboring high schools, there is a code or set of rules for dress. Violators are punished. We are hoping that this won’t be necessary in Beachwood. If the girls can follow these suggestions they need not be set up as punishable rules.

All the girls can help to keep this democracy by following the standards. Again, ask yourself– is my skirt a little too tight, my jewelry a little too loud, or is my hair held together by clips? Am I a good representative of Beachwood High School?

Read Whitney Bellephant’s argument against the dress code here.

Read Jon Shapiro’s argument for the dress code here.