Reform Dress Code At Citronelle High School

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As a mid-year graduating senior at Citronelle High School in Alabama, I have made it my mission to fight for reforms regarding our uniform policy before I leave. I speak for Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and High School seniors alike when I say that khaki pants and 3 button, white polos isn’t benefiting anyone. It’s been said that our strict uniform policy was established to prepare us for the workplace; however, the only jobs we’re being prepared for are minimum-wage paying, fast food chains like McDonald’s. We should be encouraged to wear professional office attire: suits, button downs, blouses, pencil-skirts, dresses, and etc., if not medical scrubs. And yet they dress us up like subway servers. Teachers monitor us in the hallways and treat us like we’re inmates, scorning us for not dressing and living up to their standards. It was only today that the assistant principal intervened in a conversation I was having with my teacher just to tell me I couldn’t wear my new sweatshirt to school again. I was so caught off guard and really upset — my mom who’s been unemployed recently bought it for me from a thrift store because I asked. It fell in with the school’s outerwear colors: black, white, red, and gray, muchlike mine. But apparently, it went against the guidelines for having a medium-sized logo on front of it to another school I’ve never even been to. My anger isn’t remotely related to rebellion, but the simple fact that my mom’s hard earned money has gone to waste all because of CHS’s ridiculous uniform policy, and as a thick girl who doesn’t care much for jackets, I was comfortable. Yes, I am grateful they allow us to wear team and spirit shirts year round, but unfortunately, that is not enough. It’s 2018. Uniforms are traditionally outdated and pointless! We can’t wear the khaki joggers, which are preferably a better option. We can’t wear skirts at all, unless for a religious excuse, unlike other schools. They want our socks a certain color, our bras a certain color, a specific type of belt buckle. We can’t even wear shorts that come above the knee, and yet the CHS cheerleaders are allowed to wear their tank tops and COMPETELY inappropriate mini-skirts with half their behind hanging out instead of uniforms. Unexaggeratedly, I have seen these girls walking around campus clutching onto the hems of their little skirts for dear life. And have I mentioned CHS’s teen pregnancy rate rose drastically from freshman year up until now? Meaning these girls get a free pass to come to class out of uniform, comfortable and in sweat pants, regardless of a visible bump or not. So to solve many conflicts, and to an extent, keep kids in class and happier, these uniforms need to disappear altogether and free dress should be allowed, with some restrictions. This shouldn’t be abused to wearing daisy dukes and bikinis, of course, but we should be allowed to express ourselves and at least be comfortable. 

Please join me in my fight to have Citronelle High School’s uniform policy readdressed. It is enough that many of our mentors don’t go above and beyond for us to make sure we have what we need. Our feelings are not cared for and we are disregarded in these prison-like settings. Uniforms, angry, guard-like teachers and hall monitors, not to mention they confine us to these classrooms where 35 different kids with different mindsets and different plans are all taught exactly the same. I recognize it all as ridiculously old-fashioned and bland as well as unpersonalized, and it’s time for a change to be issued. Please share and sign my petition.

Asia Richardson, 17 y/o author and student from Mount Vernon, Alabama.