Dress Code Continues to Confuse Students

“It all depends on the teacher,” said Senior Tia Hill of Wilde Lake’s dress code policy. “Most teachers have more to worry about than catching someone for a dress code violation. It’s an administrator’s job to look for those kinds of details.”

While the dress code policy has always been in the student handbook, it has also been interpretive. For some students, getting dressed in the morning can be difficult when teachers are not consistent in enforcing the rules.

Teachers though have expressed similar concern, not knowing when or how to enforce the policy.

Mrs. Fant is one teacher who has taken a stand with her opinion on the dress code at Wilde Lake. “I do have a problem with the current state of the dress code policy because I don’t believe that it is enforced . . . If you’re not going to address it every time that there is a violation then there is no need to provide one,” said Fant.
Mrs. Fant has proposed a solution: a more clear, better enforced policy.

But a strict dress code is not a silver bullet. Making the dress code more clear does not necessarily mean that more teachers would begin to enforce it.
Choir teacher Ms. Moody, for example, rarely enforces the dress code because, as she rarely “sees students wearing inappropriate clothing.” By Ms. Moody’s standards, few students are “potentially distracting.” In contrast with Mrs. Fant, Ms Moody finds it “difficult to reprimand random students because most students don’t respect teachers they don’t know.”

Students also are divided on the problem.

According to senior Adam Satterfield, “You should be allowed to wear what you want to school because that’s what freedom of expression is, whether you decide to come to school looking inappropriate or not.”

Junior Tamara Ismail believes that school-wide uniforms would eliminate the problem altogether.

“I would prefer uniforms because it would take less time to get ready in the morning, and then the administration would not have to worry about dress code violations because everyone would have on the same thing,” said Ismail.

Junior Christina Whiting sees another problem. According to her, inappropriate clothing would not be an issue if students were not so easily distracted. “If all a guy can focus on is girls and they flunk out of school, it is his fault, because he should be paying attention to his own work, not the cleavage of the girl sitting next to him,” said Whiting.

If students were allowed to wear whatever they wanted, would they use this as an opportunity to learn how to dress professionally? Or would this present them with the chance to never grow out of their “show everything” phase?

The hope for the future is that high school will allow young people to gain common sense and understanding of how the world works. How will Wilde Lake help students to learn these things? The debate goes on.