The debate about school dress codes had been ongoing for decades now and in the United States, this issue is still in the middle of controversy. There are groups who push for mandatory dress codes nationwide while some find this unnecessary. Here are some arguments presented by proponents and opponents.
List of Pros of a School Dress Code
1. It lessens bullying in schools.
One of the reasons school children, especially those who are from poor families, are bullied by other classmates is the way they dress up. Those who cannot afford to catch up with the trend and only wear unbranded clothes are oftentimes teased by some students. This is why some advocates for school dress codes find it important for schools to make it mandatory.
2. It prevents girls from being targets of sexual harassment and assault.
Some supporters of dress codes in schools are concerned about how young girls might become victims of sex crimes if they are not restricted with their clothing in school. If there is no dress code, young girls might unconsciously wear skimpy clothing like short shorts, miniskirts and tank tops which some boys in school and even men outside campus might think as teasing. Conservative groups believe limitations on how girls and boys dress will teach them to wear appropriate clothes.
3. It diverts the attention of students to academics instead of fashion.
People who are in favor of school dress codes posited that imposing this policy will encourage students to focus more on learning than what to wear every day. They also suggest that this does not have to be a school uniform but there should be some limitations because some kids, especially teens might just care more about how they look but not how they perform academically.
List of Cons of a School Dress Code
1. It is discriminatory and sexist.
Critics of school dress codes contend that enforcing this policy is sexist and discriminates girls. There have been instances where school girls are brought to detention or get reprimanded because of the length of their skirts while the boys are not getting the same treatment nor punished from misbehaving. They also argue that girls are accused of distracting other students with their choice of dress, a kind of labeling which proponents find to be rude and controlling.
2. It takes away the freedom of self-expression.
Another point raised by people who are opposed to implementing a school dress code policy is that mandatory dress code policies curtail the right of these girls and boys to express their individualities.
3. Not all kids like the idea of dress codes.
Opponents claim that not every child wants to be wearing the same set of clothes every day or same color of pants and skirts. They say that children should be encouraged to decide for themselves because they will need this in the real world and letting them wear what they want is a good way to start.
Supporters and critics have valid points on their take regarding restrictions on what to wear in schools. While there is nothing wrong with making it mandatory for students to stick with dress codes, school officials should see to it that both boys and girls get their fair share on the limitations and enforcement of this policy.