Dress Code Discussion

Gabby Martin and Jordan Hawkins

      For a majority of Paschal’s student body, preparation for Howdy begins before school even starts, prioritizing our friends’ opinions about tube tops and basketball jerseys over our 20 page summer review packets. Howdy falls on the first Saturday of every school year, which involves 200 plus sweaty teenagers packed into a cafeteria to commemorate the start of a new semester. However, with new administrators comes new policies and safety precautions, including dress code and metal detectors.

      The dress code discussion began in August, when students, parents, and faculty discussed possible dress code amendments. They comprised a list including “No boobs, butts, bellies, and bra straps.” However, it was not finalized until after the meeting when administrators met and decided on a common ground to fit all students. The student body was told that they would receive the official dress code that following Monday. However, students were not informed, thus resulting in confusion and miscommunication – at both school and the Howdy dance.

      At the beginning of the night, students – specifically girls, were asked to go home to change into a new shirt because it either had no straps, it was cropped above the stomach, or part of her bra strap was showing. But towards the end of the night, the dress code became less strict.

      “After a while, we realized that we were going to have no girls in this dance.” says Assistant Principal Tracy Smith. “What we expect you to wear at school, we expect you to wear at the dance.”

      Regarding metal detectors, if you ‘beep’ while walking through, you will be searched again by an AP.

      Extra curricular activities, however, are a little different. When going to sports games, you don’t have to be in dress code, “That’s you and your parents decision,” says Smith.

      However, the dress code for student athletes has a fine line between normal school day attire and after curricular activities. In various sports, the uniforms include clothing that isn’t in the dress code – including tank tops, Spandex shorts, and skirts that aren’t “fingertip” length.

      “We are still working with the coaches to make sure things are not over the line…whatever the district deems as part of the uniform, we’re going to support,” Smith said.

      In my honest opinion, I think that making dress code a top priority issue at Paschal is somewhat disheartening.  The moment you interrupt a girl’s OR boy’s day to tell them they’re out of dress code, you are telling them that their attire is placed before their education. I think that talking about the opioid epidemic happening in the United States and how it affects teenagers, or how researchers have found that there has been a 20% increase in anxiety diagnoses between children ages 6-17 in the past 5 years, matters more than shoulders being shown in a high school environment.

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