[Opinion] The Dress Code Dilemma



Fox News photographed girls at CCHS protesting the ban of skirts in May of 2019.

Emmerson Spann, Staffer

Over the past few years the dress code at Cathedral Catholic High School has been altered for both better and worse. These alterations include the banning of girls skirts, allowing only CCHS outerwear, and no more dress shoes to liturgies. Some of these changes have benefited the students at CCHS, but as students come to school each day the people targeted are girls, and most likely not for a valid reason. Whether pants are frayed at the bottom, aren’t the right material, or they’re distressed, many times it’s hard for students to wrap their head around the true reasons they get dress coded.

The change in dress code can’t stop here.

Instead the school should aim towards goals that execute clearer rules that allow students to fully understand what they can and can’t wear, as well as alter the dress code to obtain rules that aren’t fully directed at girls at CCHS. 

As I sit in class, I have witnessed many girls get dress coded and generally they are confused. “But why?” “You can’t even see it”. As they look at the dress code slip it is almost laughable. People are being sent in to change their clothes over something many people throughout the day wouldn’t even notice and therefore wouldn’t even make a difference in their appearance. In order to maintain a beneficial dress code, it is best to have clear rules so people are able to understand the reasoning behind each rule. By doing this, more people would have respect and consideration to follow the dress code.

To begin, the dress code at CCHS is especially aimed at girls and puts a lot of stress on whether or not the pants worn meet all the standards of dress code due to the strict requirements.

As portrayed by Julianne Cox ‘23 “Personally I got dress coded for not wearing the right material of pants as well as my pants didn’t have a button…This is not going to distract anyone and no one will even notice so why should I get dress coded?”

This stresses how many of the dress code rules are unimportant and if someone wasn’t examining the pants no one would notice a difference. For the boys, the school pants are something they’d be more likely to wear in everyday life, outside of school but on the other side, girls pants pertain to many different styles which change throughout the year.

This topic was also conveyed by Paige Gonor ‘24 “As girls we should be able to keep up with the trends, just like how fringe is highly popular on jeans right now”. After already eliminating skirts, pants are girls only options and it can be challenging these days to find pants that meet every specific requirement. Therefore, the Dean’s Office should cut some slack when it comes down to being dress coded for things that don’t make a big difference and don’t cause any harm to the school.

Moreover, when a student gets dress coded, it causes a disruption to their learning in class. This disruption results in students feeling heightened stress and anxiety. The rules of dress code is already extremely strict and it doesn’t serve as beneficial to be pulled out of class to miss out on learning just for a simple detail on someone’s pants that is not even noticeable.

Another aspect expressed by Cox: “It is embarrassing for me and girls to be pulled out of class and made the center of attention just because my pants ‘aren’t the right material.” The worry of judgment and embarrassment those who get dress coded have to face is too high for this all to be seen as a benefit. Overall, being dress code is made out to be a big deal out of and, many times, it can be avoided by altering the dress code to make it less strict and relieve the stress and worries of many on campus. 

In conclusion, the strict, specific rules of dress code is causing more harm than good and hopefully in the near future these rules will be spared to help ease the stress of students as well as girls would be able to dress more according to their style of jeans.

“This is an urgent issue that needs to be resolved quickly with solutions including having more flexibility in the dress code and providing school approved pants in the student store,” Cox argues. Not only will this benefit students but it will benefit all of the school by creating more respect for authorities and avoiding many dress code distractions during class.