Petition in Opposition to the Nardin Academy Dresscode Change

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We the students of Nardin Academy are uniting our voices to communicate our disappointment in, and opposition to, the arbitrary and draconian changes proposed to the Nardin Highschool dress code, in particular the new skirt-length.   

In light of this dress code change the student body has expressed several concerns with regard to the new skirt length requirement. Although we respect your opinions and decisions as a board, we believe that there are many reasons why this dress code modification is impractical and, quite frankly, uncalled for.  Part of Nardin’s core values is leading with confidence and integrity. Therefore, as ambassadors of Nardin, we feel we should share our concerns with you. Firstly, we are concerned that by changing the dress code to skirts of knee length or longer, the student body will not look more professional but, on the contrary, sloppier than before. In the links sent out of viable options for the new dress code many of the skirts are Jersey knit “sweat” skirts. These types of skirts tend to look sloppy and messy. The “professional” look which the administration wants us to achieve is normally worn with pencil skirts or skirts of different varieties which tend to be on the pricier side. Many girls have already expressed their concerns with having to buy all new options for their wardrobe and believe that the constant dress code changes with no regard for the student body’s opinions or concerns are unjust. Due to said budgetary concerns, girls will most likely buy the cheaper sweatshirts which, frankly, look sloppy. Longer skirts do not equate to a more professional look.

In addition to professionalism, many of us are concerned that this new skirt and dress length-requirement smacks of sexism.  It restricts our physical movement, our freedom, and our sense of independence. Moreover, we have seen this length in years past and changed the rules to allow short skirts originally because people felt the students of this school looked abysmal.  While it is impossible to please everyone, the Nardin Academy portrait of a graduate, which students are reminded of several times throughout the years spent here, states that a Nardin graduate “leads with confidence.” This amendment to the dress code is an outright contradiction to those values as it restricts our freedom on a day to day basis, which is a condition no young woman could feel confident living with.  Furthermore, it is unfair to state that a Nardin graduate “champions equity and justice,” another facet in the portrait of a Nardin graduate, when the administration is doing the students an injustice by placing them under these terms without any regard towards how they may feel about dressing this way for 9 months of the year.

Additionally, a professional, “business casual” look for women is already difficult to not only achieve but to also define, especially in the high school space. We feel that a knee length or below limit is an unnecessary barrier that puts  further restrictions on what women can wear in the workplace, instead of extending the possibilities. We understand the concerns regarding skirt length and recognize that some girls do take advantage of it. However, we feel that extending the required length of skirts/dresses does nothing but antagonize the majority of Nardin students who DO follow the dress code, as now they will have to restock their skirt wardrobe with clothes they will never wear outside of Nardin.  A better response would be an increased enforcement of the existing length requirement.

In light of all of the above, it is our heartfelt and sincere hope that the administration and board will reconsider this dress-code change, and in consideration of our respectful plea, will reinstate the previous skirt and dress requirements.


The students of Nardin Academy

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