Change the AHSD Dress Code
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Dress code is necessary.
Students of the Abington Heights School District certainly realize this; however, while it was adopted to help students, it is hurting them, and not many students are happy or comfortable with this dress code in particular, and want change. To give background knowledge, here are the basic policies:
- No wording.
- No advertisements (aside from a Nike swoosh, but "Under Armour" isn't permitted.)
- Must wear a collared shirt and have it buttoned up.
- Skirts and dresses must go to the knee, even if there are leggings or any other form of pants underneath.
- The only permitted outerwear worn during class time are hoodies and sweatshirts.
- Must cover collarbone.
- No hats.
- Anything deemed distracting.
There have been many complaints made by both students and parents over the years, but nothing has been changed. I am a student about to go into high school next year, the fastest and most important time of my life, and I would like to worry less about my social life and comfort and more on my education. During my middle school years, all I worried about was my classmates' perspective on me, and I want to be less stressed, and I also want my peers to be less stressed. Education is much more important than consequence for breaking dress code. Kids are being pulled out of class to change their clothing and are embarrassed. I want to change this dress code for the better because:
- The AHSD dress code has strongly affected both myself and my peers. While the school strongly supports individuality, their dress code says otherwise. The students are barely given a chance to express themselves with their own style, and most people dress the same while in school. No one sticks out. Shy kids, such as I, who cannot express themselves by speaking that often, have no opportunity to show their interests. It is very hard for them to make friends as well, because there isn't a way to start a conversation. If the dress code was removed, students would be able to interact with each other. If a certain t-shirt showed, for example, Doctor Who, two students would be able to interact for a similar liking for a show. If the shy person was approached by a new person, they would immediately feel happier, and they would be able to make friends, and vise versa. Removing the dress code would allow students make friends and greatly benefit a large group of students in the Abington Heights School District.
- Furthermore, the AHSD dress code policy ignores students who cannot afford to buy new shirts. While they do offer help and programs in order to help students financially, students should not have to undergo this process when they could be wearing clothing that they bought themselves and rightfully own. It is expensive to buy an entirely new wardrobe, as most people don't own a variety of button up shirts and flannels, as that isn't exactly the current style. Students have a life outside of school. It is causing many people to struggle. The policy about the advertisements is supposed to help students not be bullied, but kids are bullied anyways, mostly due to the dress code. If a student cannot afford ten new shirts, they will wear what they can, and may be picked on for being "poor", something I have witnessed before. Students have called me "goth" and have made fun of me and many other of their classmates because they tend to wear similar things around the same color and style. They may also be picked on for not having a fashion taste, when in reality, they do, but the dress code doesn't allow them to express it.
- Finally, the dress code is sexualizing the bodies of students. Since students must cover the collarbone and wear shorts, skirts, and dresses to their knees, this may leave an influence that they must always do this. Why should students be deemed distracting for showing skin? Why can't they be comfortable in their own skin, which is what we should be teaching students instead. We should not be sexualizing the bodies of children. Students might be wearing their outfit because it looks good to them, not because they want to impress their peers and behave inappropriately. Regardless, it should be none of AHSD's concern whether a student wants to wear skirts that go to their thigh or if they want to wear jeans. That should be solely the student's decision.
To conclude, the dress code of the Abington Heights School District has been affecting kids for years, and it's time to put a stop to it's unjustified and unnecessary rules. I speak for a majority of students, and I want them all to enjoy the rest of their educational career instead of being publicly embarrassed, shy, and be the target of bullies. Please support me in my effort to change things for students and the students by signing this petition, thank you.
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