Opinion: Fenton High dress code needs improvements

Emmy Johnson, Online Editor

The Fenton High dress code has turned into a more oppressive standard for certain students. Societal standards that force people into a box and those stereotypes can fuel ideas that certain actions, clothes and hairstyles they wear are a “distraction” or “unprofessional.” Because of these reasons, the dress code needs some improvements to not only keep students happy

We sadly live in a school environment where you can be kicked out of prom for a dress, told to pull your shorts down in a classroom or asked to have parents bring replacement clothes to the school.

Young girls usually get the brunt of these stereotypes and at Fenton High, the Student Handbook specifically says there shouldn’t be any “cleavage exposed, halters, or tops that expose the midriff of the body, shorts or skirts which are shorter than fingertip level.”

This rule directly affects women and the standard of clothes bestowed upon them. In 2021, it’s rare to find a pair of shorts that hit your knees or a top that doesn’t “expose cleavage.” When they can’t find clothes that fit within the dress code what are they meant to wear? It would be better to re-word the rule so it applies to 2021 fashion and allow students to wear easily accessible clothes.

The Student Handbook also states “…any fashion (clothing, accessory, or hairstyle) or manner of grooming shall be considered unacceptable if it creates a danger to the health and safety of the students or other persons; creates a disruptive influence on the educational process; interferes with the educational environment…”

Although dress coding a person’s hairstyle or look isn’t as common at Fenton— with only 3 percent of students saying they have been dress coded for hairstyles while 97 percent haven’t according to a poll posted by Fenton Inprint— that doesn’t mean an administrator or staff member should be able to arbitrarily dress code a student based on their hairstyle or grooming choices. To improve the dress code and remove room for interpretation, it’s best to specifically state what is and isn’t a “distraction” and what ways of grooming are acceptable.

The bigger picture is that a dress code isn’t a bad idea, but when it targets students, using words like “distraction,” it can make said students feel insecure or bad about themselves. The idea of Fenton High having a dress code isn’t inherently a bad thing, it simply needs some improvements to allow students to be more comfortable while in school no matter who they are.