School Dress Codes - What Is The Best Policy?
Everyone knows that the purpose of a high school is to give the students who attend that school the best possible education. It goes without saying that it is extremely important for both the faculty and the school administrators to make sure that they create and enforce the best possible educational policies so that students are able to spend their time in the best possible learning environment.
However, there is a whole other set of problems and regulations that have to be addressed when you have a school full of teenagers that you have to worry about. One of the perennial topics that must be considered and debated by school and their surrounding communities across the country is the questions of proper dress code.
It is probably reasonable to say that every school nationwide has some sort of dress code. It seems that, at the very least, this arrangement is something that just about everyone can agree on, in other words, schools should have some set of rules that govern the way students are allowed to dress. The problem is in deciding exactly what is a reasonable set of requirements for the students to follow.
On the one extreme, there is the group of people who advocate school uniforms, which essentially removes all choices from the students and requires them to wear a prescribed set of clothing. That is another issue, because even outside of those who want students to have to wear uniforms, there are parents who advocate a very strict dress code. This type of dress code limits what sorts of messages and images students can have on their clothing, and it also limits the amount of bare skin that students can show (this is a problem particularly for female students).
A more lax dress code policy allows students to make more of their own choices regarding the clothing they wear to school each day. This may result in students who wear clothing that makes some other students, or other students' parents, uncomfortable. However, it allows teenagers to take some more responsibility in their lives by making basic decisions about what they do each day. Students who wear offensive clothing will learn that other people do not appreciate that kind of decision, or students who choose to dress in a way that is not respectable will lose the respect of their peers.
It is important, in this way, for students to be able to see the results of their actions, and severely limiting those actions with excessive rules may create a situation where the students do not get the chance to learn these lessons until they are adults, at which point it may be a little too late. Any severely restrictive policy seems to deny the reality that these teenagers will one day be adults, and will have to make these decisions on their own. How can they be expected to make intelligent decisions if they are never given the chance?
A more permissive dress code allows students and teachers to spend more time on learning and less time on enforcing unnecessary rules. As long as clothing is not outright offensive, those decisions are better left to the kids and their parents.
Laura Randall is passionate about helping people find the right LSAT course to prepare for that test, although she writes on many topics. She is most passionate about education, and she likes to help out with the Mike Barrett LSAT blog Testing Is Easy.