Warmer weather brings flowers, sunny days, and less clothing. And less clothing often causes schools to deal with dress code violations. Typically, it’s girls who get the violations because the rules are against length of shorts and skirts. Other than boys wearing saggy shorts and jeans revealing their underwear, the violations sway towards girls. Sexist? Some parents think so. Recently a school in Illinois banned leggings for being “too distracting to boys” to be fit for the classroom.”
This week, I followed several Facebook discussions of Montclair Glenfield Middle School parents complaining that their daughters were made to change for what teachers/administrators felt were too short shorts, while the parents thought they were “modest” and appropriate. Some parents said that their daughters were told they couldn’t wear leggings or knee socks as well.
We reached out to Dr. Joseph Putrino, principal of Glenfield School for clarification:
“I can confirm that there is no ban on leggings or knee high socks. We are following the dress code in the student agenda.”
Dr. Putrino added that if a parent had a specific concern with a teacher’s interpretation, they should let him know as he would address it discretely.
Below is Glenfield Middle School’s dress code, which is posted online:
Dress Code: Because no dress code can be all-inclusive, the administration reserves the right to make the final decision on all attire. Students must wear clothing that is safe and supports a positive learning environment. Clothing should not be worn which interferes with or disrupts the operation of the school.
a) Clothing should fully cover chests, shoulders, and torsos. Skirts, shorts and pants should sit at the waist and be at least as long as the fingertips when a student’s arms are fully extended at their sides. Attire should be sufficient to conceal undergarments.
b) Head coverings should be removed inside the building. Religious and medical exceptions must be recorded in the Main Office.
c) Clothing and/or accessories must not display/advertise that which could be considered by some to be lewd, offensive or insensitive.
d) Ear buds and other types of headphones should be put away during the school day.
e) Foot attire must be safe for active participation in all school activities; flip-flops, high heels and platform shoes are discouraged for safety reasons. Shoes with wheels are prohibited.
f) Sunglasses may not be worn anywhere in school.
g) In instances where inappropriate attire is worn, parents may be contacted and asked to bring appropriate clothing to school or to escort their child home to change clothes. When other alternatives are not feasible, students may be held in the office until parent contact can be made. Time away from classes for this reason is considered unexcused.
Some feel that dress codes send the wrong message that girls should be judged and sexualized for their clothing. Others feel that dress codes are meant to teach girls and boys to respect their bodies and learn that setting-appropriate attire is a part of life. Some feel that we could solve the problem with uniforms.
How do you feel about dress codes?