Dress Code: Does fashion supersede school rules about attire?

By Ashley Barbian | A&E Editor

“Get high, ” “dope” and “right pipe”: all terms one might associate with either extreme sports or illegal drugs can be seen on student’s clothing at Marshfield High School. The school dress code becomes an issue at the beginning of every year. While it is true that Americans have the right to express themselves, there is an appropriate time and place for certain attire. Lingerie, t-shirts with inappropriate innuendos and revealing body parts should not be present in the classroom.

Presenting one’s self appropriately at school is a way of respecting people around them.  There are many ways to dress appropriately while still maintaining individual style.

According to Dean of Students Bruce Bryant, the intent of the school dress is not to embarrass or humiliate the students; its purpose is to merely teach us how to dress properly to the occasion of school. Faculty members at Marshfield are only trying to help students prepare for the professional world. Staff members at Marshfield see the dress code as a positive guideline to help students learn what is appropriate to wear and what is clearly not suitable for a school or work setting.

An employer would rather choose a client who would represent their company with class and respect than the client with the most “personality” in the clothes they are wearing. Dress code is not limited to high school, but applies to everyday life. When one dresses in an inappropriate manner, it distracts from what others are trying to accomplish.

Dressing seductively or offensively is often very distracting to both students and staff.  Sexual feelings and thoughts come with the high school territory,  and most students do not need a visual aid. There are many ways the clothing industry has added inappropriate references into their clothing from shirts with sexual innuendos to accessories with profanity and references to illegal substances. Exposure to the media has a great influence on the image most students develop about how an individual should dress.

Dressing with personality or style does not have to be a big production and should not be an excuse to wear outfits that are too tight, low, revealing or distracting. People must consider values and professionalism when choosing their attire for the day. In addition to that, they must remember how their appearance will affect how others will view them. The school dress code rules are much simpler to follow than to break.