Update dress code for Washington schools

Update dress code for Washington schools

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Hannah Schilperoort started this petition to Washington State Senate and

Thousands of little girls put on tank tops and shorts for a hot summer day, only to be ridiculed, punished, and told that they were showing too much skin. Told that showing too much skin would be a distraction to others, that they need to dress appropriately and conform. From as little as elementary school, their bodies were sexualized. 


As a result of these rules, it has taken a huge toll on women’s mental health. According to Unicef USA, consequences of hypersexualization for girls and women include anxiety about appearance, feelings of shame, eating disorders, lower self-esteem and depression. 


Is this what we want to teach our women? From a young and impressionable age, we are making them think twice about what they put on -- in fear of judgement, harassment, and consequences. We need to think twice about why we are putting these rules into place. 


Women are not the ones that need to change.


Sexual objectification contributes to harmful gender stereotypes that normalize violence against girls. Dress code promotes a “blame the victim” mentality, where men are not being held completely responsible for their actions. If we implement a dress-code to “prevent harassment” in schools, what are we teaching young men? 


By telling women to change, it teaches young men that a woman is at fault for a man’s wrongdoings. This simply puts a bandaid on deeper rooted issues, and does not teach young men and women values for real life. No woman should be harassed, and it doesn't matter what they wear. 


A woman’s outfit does not make them an object, nonetheless a piece of property that can be told what they can and cannot wear. Women have much more dignity than that. And as human beings, we can do better than this.


Not only are these rules detrimental to young students' mental health, but they’re counterproductive as well. Students with diverse body types cannot follow the “fingertip rule.” Instilling dress code to lessen distractions, are instead removing students from their respective learning environments to be disciplined. It is also costly for lower income families, as many have to repeatedly buy new clothes in order to fit the school’s guidelines.


If you are someone who wants to be a part of this change and see a different society for the better, there are some steps that you and your family can take to make a change. You are the one that can make a change by taking initiative, spreading awareness, and making a mark in your community. 


Several schools have initiated this new system called the “no shame” dress code, and it works for parents, faculty, and most importantly, the students. It’s a gender neutral dress code with minimal restrictions to allow students to express themselves without judgment


According to USA Today, Alameda Unified School District enforces this dress code, divided into three categories: what students must wear; what they may wear and what they can’t wear. 

 

 


Students must wear:

Bottoms
Tops
Shoes
Clothing that covers genitals, buttocks and areolae/nipples with opaque material

 

 

Students may wear:


Hats, including religious 
Hoodie sweatshirts 
Fitted pants
Sweatpants, shorts, skirts, dresses, pants
Midriff-baring shirts
Pajamas
Ripped jeans, as long as underwear is not exposed
Tank tops, including spaghetti straps, halter tops and “tube” (strapless) tops
Athletic attire
Clothing with logos provided they do not violate the guidelines in the "Cannot Wear" section
Sun-protective clothing

 

 

Students cannot wear:


Violent language or images
Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity) or the use of same
Hate speech, profanity, pornography
Images and/or language that create a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class
Visible underwear or bathing suits of similar design – visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not a violation

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