Opinion: There is a fine line between ‘not revealing’ and not respecting

Carlmont’s Dress Code Policy crosses it.

This+student+received+disciplinary+action+for+violating+the+Carlmont+Dress+Code+policy.+These+are+the+clothes+she+was+wearing.

Allison Raisner

This student received disciplinary action for violating the Carlmont Dress Code policy. These are the clothes she was wearing.

“No shoulders. No midriff. Nothing revealing.”

“Those shorts are too short.” 

“I need you to cover up.”

Carlmont’s administrators may utter these words throughout the school day. 

But why? Why are they deciding what underage girls at school can wear? 

On one hand, they could be preparing us for a professional workplace, but we are still children. Boys aren’t made to dress in a suit and tie for school, so girls should be able to wear clothes meant for teenagers. 

I had thought Carlmont was different. I thought we were progressive and understanding of girls’ choices. I thought they respected our bodies.

But then I heard about someone getting dress-coded by a female administrator. She was only wearing a tank top and shorts. And of all people, I thought another woman would understand what us girls have to go through. 

And then I heard about another. She had an off-the-shoulder top on. 

The administrators are out of line by deciding what young girls can wear. There’s the time-old “it’s too distracting for the learning environment.” While clothes with profanity do not belong on a school campus, revealing clothes should not matter. 

What is distracting is forcing girls to wear clothes that are too hot to wear in 85-degree weather and removing girls from class to make them do so. Covering up before class with a sweatshirt from the morning is not an option. The disciplinary action requires the student to cover up to attend the rest of their classes.

Not only is this embarrassing and demeaning for a girl, but it can also be physically uncomfortable. Forcing a girl to wear a jacket in the summer months is ridiculous. No one should be forced to wear a sweatshirt at 2 p.m. in high heat. Sitting in the heat of a classroom with all the windows open, it becomes impossible to focus when you just want to cool off.

Walking to the office and having a discussion with a vice principal takes away from a student’s instructional time. Minutes that could have been spent in the classroom learning are wasted by pointless discussions about a tank top. 

Principal Ralph Crame emailed families this past weekend and reminded them to look over Carlmont’s Dress Code Policy. Of course, the Dress Code has respectable rules that state no profanity, drug or sex references, or anything dangerous. 

However, the official Dress Code does not state that clothes have to cover up enough of the body so that they are appropriate. Rather, it lists at the bottom that it would be up to the discretion of the admin. 

This is a vague rule. What one family finds completely appropriate to wear at school could be completely different from what administrators believe. Of course, no one should show up to an academic environment in a swimsuit or without shoes, but girls shouldn’t be punished for wearing a crop top or showing a bra strap. They need to clear things up and realize that girls should be allowed to wear tank tops and shorts.

It is completely demeaning to be dress-coded on our school campus. It damages girls’ self-esteem with indirect “sl*t-shaming.” If it is too distracting for boys to see a female body, then this places the blame on the girl. This sexualization of women’s bodies even extends into the adult world, where professional female athletes are regulated to wear revealing uniforms. 

Girls need to be comfortable at school, and that starts with wearing clothes that keep them cool and make them happy.

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