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Dress Code: Our Friend or Our Foe

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by AALIYAH DUNCAN ’19

The Ridley High School student body filed into the gymnasium ten minutes after the bell for second block had rung. The teens filled the bleachers, preparing to discuss the controversial dress code policy with the school administrators.

Mrs. McGinley, the dean of students at Ridley High School, said the dress code policy is here to demonstrate a thorough example of how students should dress in the professional world, as well as give an opportunity for students to express their individuality.

Some students would disagree with Mrs. McGinley’s statement, believing that the dress code policy actually limits freedom of expression and confines students to dressing to a standard. The dress code policy created by the RHS board, states that the following garments are not allowed:

  • Spandex or elastic bottoms worn as pants
  • Denim material pants
  • Sweatpants or sweat suits

To most students these clarifications limit comfort. Students have complained about how school pants, or pants that the school deems acceptable aren’t exactly the most pleasant pants to wear. Many of the female students wear spandex pants, or leggings, and are comfortable which shouldn’t pose as an issue.

“I like wearing what I feel is comfortable,” said senior Ria Fraim. “Personally, I don’t always follow the dress code. Finding an outfit to accommodate the policy in the mornings is actually more time consuming than throwing on a pair of jeans.”

Students have also addressed the issue of how long it takes to get dressed in the morning, but even with the policy students still have difficulty getting prepared for school in a timely manner.

“Finding an outfit that fits the dress code is actually quite strenuous,” says Sarah Opperman, a sophomore. “If I could simply throw on a pair of sweatpants in the morning I would, but then risk receiving some type of penalty for being out of dress code.”

Students as well as parents have disagreed with the consequences of violating the dress code policy. A first offense of the policy is a simple warning, but multiple infractions to the dress code can result in anything from in school suspensions to after school detentions.

“I do not believe that disregarding the dress code should result in a suspension. That robs students of valuable learning time, which is completely unfair. In dress code or not, every student should have the chance to receive equal education time,” said Tiarah Fluellen, mother of a student at Ridley High School.

There are still students who agree with the dress code policy’s original intention of showing students how to appropriately dress in the workplace or any professional setting with tossing in some freedom.

“I do not mind the dress code policy, it is helpful and beneficial to the students at Ridley High School. In the future when I am being interviewed for a job, I will know how to properly dress for it thanks to my school’s thorough dress code policy,” said Vince Gentilini, a freshman.

Overall, students have formed their own opinions about the dress code. Deciphering whether the dress code policy is here to benefit the students or strain the students uniqueness depends on how the discrepancies in dressing styles are viewed within the school.

About Aaliyah Duncan

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