Controversial dress code modifications

Changing dress code causes controversy amongst Eaton High School students


Eaton High School’s new dress code seems to be much more strict this year and students have been having a hard time coping with its requirements. Last year’s dress code allowed hats to be worn inside the school and all clothing was acceptable as long as it didn’t “distract” from the education portion of the school. This year, however, the dress code has taken a turn and is locking down as to what is and is not acceptable for students to wear at school.

 The dress code for this year was edited by students at the school. However, Madison Crider (24), a member of the group that was on the committee to decide the dress code, said, “What the dress code says is not what we talked about when making it at the beginning of last year. We purposely tried to get away from not being able to show our backs and stomachs and I have no idea why it talks about not wearing baggy clothes.” Students were given a chance to speak out and help rewrite the dress code for the upcoming year, but what was agreed on doesn’t seem to be what’s written in the student handbook from the perspective of students. Several students who have already had problems with being dress coded had some opinions of their own.

Leyah Scott (23), who was recently confronted about what she was wearing, said, “It seems hypocritical to me that you can wear a tank top even if it covers your stomach that still shows the silhouette of your body, but you can’t wear a baggy t-shirt or sweatshirt that covers everything, even your shorts.”

Gracie Tomlinson (23) said, “I think that the dress code is kind of unreasonable and unfair to girls because we aren’t allowed to wear oversized shirts or sweatshirts. They get mad at us for wearing shirts that are short and show our stomachs, but when we try to wear something baggy and oversized they also tell us that we can’t do that.” 

The dress code doesn’t seem to be something that only female students have a problem with, but for male students as well. Carlos Contreras (23), who was dress coded for wearing a “Playboy” shirt, said, “I understand when it has slurs or something like that but c’mon a brand name shouldn’t be a big deal.” 

On the other hand, Principal Grable suggested that the dress code is actually fairly reasonable when the time is taken to actually read what the student handbook says word for word. Grable quoted directly from the Student Handbook and said, “We believe that a positive outward appearance reflects positive inward self-esteem. A safe environment is essential to an educational program. How students choose to express themselves, in a semi-professional and safe environment is important and how we see the educational environment. In order to create a safe and effective learning environment during the school day, or at school-sponsored events, students are expected to meet the following expectations regardless of gender, size, or ethnicity” (pg. 21). After reading what the dress code says word for word, it doesn’t seem like all that much to ask. Grable also said, “We should be able to walk up the stairs, raise our hands, and do those normal school day things without stuff hanging out.” The requirements go for everyone, both boys and girls. Grable has tried to make the dress code so that it’s not super strict, but not all of it is her choice. There are rules and guidelines that have already been set by the district administration that the schools are required to follow.

The dress code doesn’t seem to be asking too much out of students except to use common sense as to what seems to be appropriate to wear to school and what doesn’t. As students, the dress code may seem as though it doesn’t allow for a lot of freedom when it comes to what can and can’t be worn, but in the end, the rules are designed so that everyone is able to express themselves and be able to feel comfortable in the school environment while still being within the lines of the dress code.