The Helix School District current dress code comes down to whatever the student’s parents think is suitable. According to the student handbook, “Responsibility for dress and grooming rests primarily with students and their parents.” This statement allows the code to be open for interpretation. The district's previous dress code had many more restrictions in place. For example, students weren't allowed to wear tops with noodle straps or short shorts.
Regarding the new dress code, Griswold High School Junior Elliana Boatright says “If it’s appropriate, whatever they want to wear, students should be able to ask and see if it's okay.” She means that students should be able to email the superintendent or at least one of the staff members to see if what they want to wear that is not normally allowed, might be approved anyway.
The vast majority of students at Helix High School dress in clothes that are fairly modest, and they actually do not even need to be concerned about what is written in the dress code. A glance down the hallways and into the classrooms reveals that most students are dressed in typical outfits for teens, which usually includes the basics like jeans and a T-shirt or sweatshirt. “My jeans have holes in them, but I don’t think it's distracting,” said Helix Junior Elliana Boatright.
Similarly, Sophomore Nola Miller says that, “Shorts should be acceptable, but you don’t want them to be short enough that it's…revealing.”
Most people do not need to be policed in their dressing, but there are always those few people who might dress a little more daringly, and need the dress code as a guideline. With such knowledge, Boatright says that we need a dress code. “Some kids can wear some really inappropriate or really offensive things, and if there is no dress code, it's gonna offend a lot of people and there's nothing anyone can do about it,” she said.
If the most recent dress code was still in effect at Helix High School, some of the things students are wearing today would not be allowed under the old handbook, such as extremely low cut shirts, tank tops, and short shorts. With what the new dress code now allows, Miller still likes to see students dressing more modestly. “It should be more modest, but not too modest to where people feel uncomfortable,” she said.
School dress codes exist pretty much everywhere in the world. Some dress codes do have unintended consequences that should be addressed. In some schools, students have experienced issues with being targeted for their race or hair indirectly through the dress code. For example, some students with big poofy or curly hair may get targeted for violating a code. According to edutopia.org, around 70% of dress codes mentioned hair, 20% forbade students to wear their hair in Afros, and around 20% forbade students to wear their hair in braids. These types of codes affect black and brown girls more than any other group.
Overall, school dress codes may upset many people, but in the end they are at least a starting point to keep students from going to school and experiencing negative issues due to how they present themselves.