Dress Code Finalization

A new dress code draft has been written


Triton High School has come out with a draft of a new dress codes policy that states what students can and cannot wear, and also the enforcements that will take place if the code isn’t followed.


The Triton’s Dress codes Cannot Wear section states that students can’t wear violent images or language, hate speech, pornography, and profanity. Hats may be allowed depending on the principal’s discretion, but any piece of clothing that hides the students face in person and on school cameras is prohibited, images that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class, and visible underwear. Visible waistbands and straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not a violation to the dress code. Lastly, wearing bathing suits or shoes with wheels in the heel are not allowed.


I believe that most kids in the school follow it pretty well and cover up,” Taylor Richard, a freshman at Triton said. “These rules are put to help students understand the importance of what you wear and where you wear it. “


While there are some restrictions to what students can’t wear, they are things that you must wear to school. This includes a shirt, pants, and shoes. All clothing worn must have fabric on the front, back, and sides, and cover any undergarments with the exception of visible waistbands and straps. A basic principle for the dress code for all students states that clothing must be worn in a way that genitals, buttocks, nipples, and chest are fully clothed with opaque material. Any class such as gym may have a more assignment- specific dress requirement. As said on the draft, “Nothing in this policy should be read to restrict assignment or class- specific dress (e.g., physical education or extracurricular athletics) or require specific clothing for a field trip.” 


Along with the actual dress code, there is an enforcement procedure about how to take care of any dress code violations. To start, it says that if a student did not meet the guidelines the school administration will address the student respectfully and in an appropriate manner. This entails that they want the students to be as comfortable as possible when being spoken to about their choice of clothing.


“As an all male administration team it wasn’t (a position) I really wanted to put an administrative team in, to be talking to female students about how  much cleavage is showing or the length of their skirt,” said Kelley. “You also don’t want students to feel uncomfortable in how they’re dressing, how they express themselves.”


The dress codes enforcement also makes the statement that this is not an all-inclusive list. As styles and “fads” change it is the administration’s responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy area. The failure to comply with this student dress code will be enforced consistently with the behavioral and conduct violations as stated in the student hand book.


Dress codes in schools were created to prohibit inappropriate clothing that could make other students uncomfortable. Dress codes have since been enforced in most schools. Some choose to have their students wear uniforms, other schools let their students pick what they wear as long as it follows certain guidelines. At Triton High School, the goal of  a dress code is to make  for a healthy and undisturbed environment.


“As a community we are culturally going to make sure that school remains a safe and healthy place and also that along the way, we are hopefully teaching our students norms and values as to how we dress for different functions in society,” Triton’s principle Patrick Kelley said.


The topic of dress codes is controversial. There are some people who think that uniforms are what students should wear to school to look more presentable for important figures such as college representatives or even the school’s administrative group. Other people think that students should be able to use their choice of clothes as their voice. Either way, a school’s responsibility is to make a safe and welcoming environment for all and to accept students as they are, no matter what they choose to wear as long as it is appropriate.

While some might agree with the terms listed under this dress code, others may have other thoughts and opinions on them. Triton’s VTV had done an episode which had a segment about how people feel about students wearing their team uniforms to school. Many people felt that it was appropriate and supported their school’s team spirit while others believed that it may be distracting to others.


I think the sports uniforms now are perfectly fine but I disagreed with them before when males were allowed to go topless and females were dress coded for wearing shorter skirts and spandex,” said Taylor Richard, a freshman here at Triton.


On the contrary, some people think that the clothes students wear on a day to day basis may be inappropriate. Like many other high schools across the U.S, midriffs and backs should be covered at all times, hats mustn’t be worn inside the building, and the clothing that the students/ teachers choose to wear shouldn’t have inappropriate words/ pictures, alcohol or drug advertisements, or guns on them.


The draft of the new student dress code didn’t say anything about prohibiting one’s midriff to show, like the current dress code does. Recently there has been a lot of controversy as to why girls clothing choices are more restricted than boys. 


I think the main cause of the controversy is the unfairness between males and females,” said Richard.


Recently a group of fifth grade girls from Newbury Elementary School made a statement to their principal, Beth Yando, about how they believed parts of the school dress code were focused specifically on girls, whereas boys didn’t have as many restrictions. Yando brought this up to the school council and since then, the school district has been working on a new version of the school dress code.


“Things like length of shirts, lengths of shorts, too much cleavage being shown, like those types of things were typically very gender specific in their enforcement, were oftentimes quite subjective,” Kelley said.


One of the main components for making the new dress code was to change some of the components of it to be universal across the district and to update the language used, so that there wasn’t anything gender specific. Kelley believes that this goal has been accomplished and hopes that the new dress code will be published by the end of the 2022-2023 school year. 


In the history of dress codes, they were originally placed so that students were forced to assimilate to a predominantly white culture. There were a lot of parts that pushed people towards the acceptable clothing attire such as what you would wear to church. Since then, our societies have definitely evolved from when dress codes were first put in place. Now less people are going to church so the dress code stimulates off of those new changes of the society. It is proven that oftentimes when you dress well, you perform better, but Kelley doesn’t think that it is something schools should punish kids for. Everyone has a different style and the way they dress is their choice, as long as it is school appropriate. 


“Personal modesty is the best policy,” Irene Thompson, a math teacher at Triton, said. Thompson understands that clothes and fashion are a great way for people to express themselves.


One thing that the school district became more lenient about was hats and hoods inside of the building. Originally hats and hoods weren’t allowed to be worn inside of the building. As a result of this rule, Kelley says that more people wore hats just to make a statement or be controversial. Now that hats are allowed, he sees that less people are actually wearing them.