School Dress Code Research Paper

Looking at public schools in the District of Columbia, the report found that three in four D. public high school dress codes say students can be pulled out of class or school for dress code violations.

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Despite the rules being the same for every girl, teachers end up enforcing the rules more strictly with black females, and in a way that is humiliating.

Many dress codes can cause black students to fall behind academically, according to a 2018 National Women’s Law Center study.

“Instead of saying no low cut shirts or cleavage, the dress code says all private parts must be covered at all times,” she says.

Pomerantz recommends giving students lots of leeway to express themselves with fashion.

Despite the fact that Reeser’s school has a uniform, she and her peers still faced the same issues that Belsham described at her Duval County school.

“The rule should be based on the clothes, not how they fit, because it’s different for each person,” says Belsham.Another notorious dress code rule is the “finger-tip policy.” Female students must wear skirts or shorts that go past their fingertips. And making the policy even more frustrating is that there isn’t a dress code for high school.While this seems straightforward, students and parents report that for some, it’s impossible to find clothing that complies with the rule. It’s impossible to find shorts that are remotely fashionable and below her finger tips. A post shared by Catherine Pearlman (@catherinepearlman) on In Duval County, Florida, Nikki Belsham says that she’s been struggling with this rule since she was in school, and now her daughter is facing the same dilemma.Sexist rules also set a precedent for men, she adds. It suggests they don’t have the ability to talk to a female student without going wild.” Marci Kutzer, a fourth-grade teacher at Bertha Ronzone Elementary in Las Vegas, Nevada, says that, while school boards couch dress codes as preparing students for the workplace and adult life, their real purpose is to prevent “distractions.” Kutzer says that sends a powerful message: “A boy’s education can be compromised by your gender.Please do what you can to neutralize it.” This clearly puts a burden on female students.Shopping for her daughter is difficult; while Belsham can find appropriate clothing at the mall, it doesn’t pass the test. “Take a tall, skinny 12 year old girl—her shorts may not pass this finger length test and would be considered inappropriate for school, even though her butt is covered and the shorts are relatively long,” she explains.Belsham also says that administration won’t enforce the rule with boys.If something truly crosses the line, there’s a way to tell them, without enforcing victim-blaming.“A question you can ask is ‘What is it about dressing this way that’s so important to you? Many schools are looking into updating their dress code policies by making them more gender neutral, gathering student input and changing the wording—just taking the blame off females for “distracting” male students.“This sends a disturbing message to all students: What a girl looks like is more important than what she learns and thinks.No girl should ever have to forfeit her education because her shirt is the wrong color or she has a hole in her jeans.” East Longmeadow principal Flanagan said she’s tried to target inequalities at her own school by creating a gender-neutral dress code, and by involving students in the dress code process.


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