How Dress Codes affect students differently.

Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school's dress code.

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Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school's dress code.

Faith Miller, Staff Writer

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Dress code has been a long-term debate on whether it’s fair and unbiased, and students are beginning
to make their voices heard.Most school dress codes are the same, no tank tops, no shoulders, bottoms be fingertip length, and if you wear leggings, your shirt must cover your butt.

These policies are meant to ensure that there is no disruption to the learning environment, however, this does not seem to be the case for many schools nation-wide. Many students, especially females, are stepping out claiming that dress code policies are biased, sexist, and make them feel as though they are “distractions” instead of students.

This is shared by Oklahoma teen, Rose Lynn, pictured above, in 2015 as reported by Jordi Lippe-McGraw on TODAY. Lynn attends MacArthur High School in Oklahoma. One December morning she went and put on an outfit she believed to be appropriate based on the dress code. This outfit included a loose shirt, lengthy cardigan, and leggings. While at school that day she was sent home for said outfit and told that it was “deemed inappropriate and distracting” as reported by TODAY.

She did not let that stop her, she returned to the school wearing leggings and a lengthy white t-shirt that had stated in black marker ink “It doesn’t cover your crotch, you’ll distract the boys.”

This is what administration said to her before sending her home previously. She then later posted a picture of her outfit on social media along with a paragraph describing what happened and her opinion on the matter, and finished with a statement that read, “So once again, society has failed to advocate for young ladies, by confining them in a box, where they are stripped from their since of self-respect and self-expression.”

She also made claims on how her school is biased saying that is if she was “skin and bones or overweight” she would have been overlooked, but the fact that she is curvy is part of the reason she was singled out. And she isn’t the only teen to claim this.

A middle schooler in Maine has shown her determination in making her voice heard. At the time of the beginning of her movement, Molly Neuner, 11, of Portland, Maine, was sent home multiple times for the clothing she wore after
being told she would be a “distraction” towards males by at least two teachers, as reported by Danielle Waugh of NBC New York. After being told this, she claimed that “It just made [fellow students] feel uncomfortable”.

When she returned home, she discovered a hashtag that would not only inspire her, but many others. She returned to school the next day trying to make a statement. She did this by wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and wrote on her arm the hashtag “#iamnotadistraction.”

After seeing this, many students followed her lead by writing the same hashtags on their arms. After catching
the attention of multiple news outlets, schools began realizing that dress codes may be in need of reviewing.

When asked, Durant students did not hesitate to respond to the questions, “What is your opinion on school dress codes? Do you believe that they are biased or make females feel as they are a distraction?”

Senior Laura Bergman responded with the statement, “It’s stupid and teaches girls and boys to feel uncomfortable in their skin. It also teaches girls and boys what they should sexualize.”

Senior Gabbi Mora gave a similar response, “honestly, school dress code isn’t fair. Some girls show up breaking it every day and aren’t caught, but the second some innocent girl has her fingertips one inch past their shorts, it’s a problem, I don’t think it’s fair whatsoever.”

However, not all students agree with these statements. Emma Adcock, Junior, claims that “I believe if we didn’t have one then girls would be getting pregnant left and right. Dress codes protect both sexes.”

Students at Durant remain on both ends of the spectrum, and hopefully the new policies in place this school year are what we need. By updating the school dress code for the school year of 2019-2020, students can finally come to an agreement on what we need and what is to excessive, making guidelines that keep everyone happy, and no longer cause females to feel as if they are more of a distraction and less of a student.