Dear NRHS, revise our restrictive dress code for Graduation

Dear NRHS, revise our restrictive dress code for Graduation

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Maya Wilson started this petition to Nansemond River High School

Unemployment & homelessness has seen an incredible rise as of late, and a lot of people who were living decently in the past are surviving rough times now. The student body isn't immune to that. I'm sure everyone walking this stage on the 12th faced tough times & losses this year, as has the rest of the world. That's why I feel as though NRHS has turned a blind eye to this, & are putting extra strain on families' wallets. After buying a $40 cap & gown, a $40 yearbook, & a $70 prom, why would the school force some people to buy new clothes to match such a strict code?

Criticisms of the code:

1) All skirts, dresses, shirts, and blouses must be light 
For what reason? This is arbitrary, & this explicitly prevents people wearing dresses/skirts (generally women) from wearing specific colors to match outdated gender norms. Not everyone has formal, light colored clothing, & graduation is already expensive as is with the aforementioned senior costs/parties/etc.

2) All dress pants must be dark
Again, for what reason? My criticisms of the former carry on here. It's arbitrary & an outdated gender stereotype.

3) The ban of tennis shoes
Not everyone has dress shoes, & one "cheap" pair starts around 30$ on Amazon. If tennis shoes were allowed, families would be able to save some money & not waste that sum on something many students will only need once or twice; even many businesses nowadays accept tennis shoes as part of "business casual," so that argument doesn't hold up anymore. Dress shoes are an archaic & arguably classist requirement for students to be required to have, as many tennis shoes are more than suitable for a formal event. And again, this is graduation. People will hopefully be looking at our $40 caps and gowns instead of our feet, but I digress...

One big issue with all of these requirements, but especially 3, is the assumption that everyone already have all these things, and it's only a matter of picking out the right thing from your closet. Fun fact: that assumption is wrong. It's unfair to keep those who can't afford these extra expenses right now from walking across the stage; we've all spent over a decade working towards this moment. It's also unfair to prevent people from walking for wearing a certain colored shirt--even when our gowns will cover them almost entirely. For what reason must that be policed? Would anyone even know if we wore a t-shirt under this thing or not? Or will there be inspections where we have to show people what's under our gowns...? I doubt it.

The Solution:

There's no reason why the color restrictions should be in place, whether this is a formal event or a cookout. So, I think the best thing the school could do for us is to 1) drop the color restrictions & 2) allow tennis shoes. If you think this dress code should be revised to be more inclusive, sign this petition, share it with others, and send it to the school. Thank you for reading, & if you have any suggestions please contact me on instagram @tha_real_solotato or by email at chasewilson013@gmail.com.

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