Change Dress Code for USD 244
Thank you for the opportunity to address the school board tonight. The outfit that I am currently wearing would get me sent to the principal’s office with the current dress code regulations. It is hot today and I chose my clothing to reflect that so that I could be comfortable in the Kansas weather. Unfortunately, the school dress code requires that no tank tops be worn or shirts that expose the shoulders.
My shoulders are not a distraction. A rule requiring that my shoulders be covered so that other students are able to learn is silly and outdated. Sexualizing the shoulders of teens is completely inappropriate. My skin is my own just as every student’s is their own. I do not find it distracting when girls or boys wear clothing that exposes more than their lower arm because I am committed to learning and my focus is on the teacher, not the clothing of those around me. Furthermore, the rules are not equally enforced now as it is. Several students wear whatever clothing they want with the statement that they have family who teaches or is on the school board so the rules do not apply to them. While I disagree with their reasoning, they too should be allowed to wear clothing that allows them to be comfortable while expressing themselves as long as it doesn’t contain foul language, drug references, or weapons.
Also a concern of mine is the fact that we are not allowed to wear spandex, yoga clothing, or compression clothes to gym class. These are all allowed for regular school wear provided our shoulders don’t show, but we are required to wear looser fitting clothing to gym. I’m confused about the reason for this since these clothes are literally marketed as active wear. They are specifically designed to be worn while exercising since they allow for free movement and some are even moisture absorbing for activities that make you sweat.
My request tonight is that you would please alter the dress code regulations before the upcoming school year. We should be allowed to wear clothing that shows our shoulders because they are not a distraction to learning. We live in Kansas and it’s hot and the school is often warm even during the colder months. By the time we attend middle school we are capable of making informed decisions about the clothing that we wear to school. Being required to wear a sweatshirt over a tank top all day during the winter when it’s hot in the rooms doesn’t improve our learning. I would also like to see active wear allowed during gym classes. Uniforms for sporting teams are often made of spandex and are accepted as appropriate for those school activities. Banning spandex in gym class doesn’t make any sense. The grade school dress code allows for tank tops so long as they have a sewed seam and are not a cut off tank. I hope you will consider changing the upper school requirements to do the same. Thank you for your time.