Change Madison High School's Sexist and Unreasonable Dress Code Policy
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On Friday, February 23rd, me and the vast majority of my female classmates were pulled out of our testing environment in our math class and ordered into the hallway by school officials. The reason for this disruption in our learning? We were all, apparently, in violation of the school's dress code.
When I was pulled into the hall, I was astonished. What could possibly be wrong with my almost knee-length skirt?
Apparently, the sliver of my nude-colored bra becoming visible as the back of my shirt had adjusted throughout the day was worthy of this.
Two girls with "inappropriate" rips in their jeans were immediately sent to the office have tape placed over the tears. After being lectured on modesty and how we are here to get an education, myself and my classmates were sent back to class.
My question to Madison High School is this: if the entire reason we are at school is to get an education, why are you disrupting a testing environment in order to assume the role of the fashion police? Why are you forcing girls to waste even more valuable class time in order to go to the office and have their jeans taped?
I can guarantee you that not a single student in that classroom was distracted by any of our outfits. We, however, were greatly distracted from our tests and other assignments when we were disrupted and taken into the hall.
These actions are not only clearly misogynistic, but they are contributing to the all too prevalent rape culture and to victim blaming. We, as young women, are being essentially told that our attire is more important than our education. We are being pulled out of class and told that we could be a distraction, with no regards to how distracted these actions have made us.
It's time for a change.
First of all, the policy that a student can only be dress coded within the first 15 minutes of the school day should be renewed, in order to minimize the amount of class time lost due to dress code infractions.
Changing the "no visible undergarments" policy at Madison High School is the next step. On this same day, a student was dress coded because the strap of her bralette was visible.
As female high school students, the vast majority of us wear bras. Shirts shift throughout the day, and quite frankly, a bra strap is not distracting or unprofessional. In addition to being sexist and honestly unreasonable, this policy is demeaning even to the boys. Do we really believe that they are so hormone ridden they won't be able to focus on their work because a bra strap is visible?
Finally, the "fingertip length" and "3-finger width" policies should be changed. Everybody has different length arms and different width fingers, and there is no fair way to enforce this policy. I propose that the length rule for skirts and shorts is changed to a universal mid-thigh, and that the strap thickness rule is changed to simply one that disallows spaghetti straps and permits other forms of tank tops.
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