Students raise concerns regarding dress code


Annika Barsy

A print-out of the Carlmont High School dress code is displayed in Denise Steward’s classroom.

Annika Barsy , Staff Writer

Over time, there has been much controversy regarding the topic of school dress code and Carlmont High School is no exception. While some believe the dress code is generally biased and in need of revision, others think that stricter provisions should be enforced.

Likewise, because Carlmont on the larger side in terms of the student body, it is sometimes difficult to enforce such a code, an inconsistency that is recognized by the students.

“If you are going to dress code somebody, you should dress code everybody; don’t make it just one person or one kind of body type,” said Virginia Brase, a sophomore. 

The question of the dress code’s integrity usually surrounds the different rules for each gender. For example, according to Public Seminar, there are multiple instances in which female students were primarily dress coded in a manner that suggests negative bias and the sexualization of their bodies.

I think the dress code is totally biased against girls,” said Mia Messina, a sophomore. “I used to hear at Ralston that it was ‘distracting to guys’ for the way that we dress, which is obviously unfair because that’s not anyone’s goal. But also, I’m not going to dress more conservatively just so that people don’t look at me in a way I wasn’t asking to be looked at.”

Others believe this bias is present at Carlmont as well.

“I always thought that it was unfair that, especially because different body types get discriminated against more than others, one girl could be wearing a pair of short shorts and another girl with a bigger butt or wider hips can get dress coded for wearing those same shorts,” Messina said. 

In addition, the main complaints about the dress code are about its vague restrictions, which can lead to grey areas regarding what is and is not acceptable.

“I feel the Carlmont dress code has some good rules, but I think they could lighten up a bit and let people express more of their opinions through their clothing,” said Miles Allison, a Carlmont sophomore. 

On the other hand, there are some who believe the dress code is too lenient.

“I am a firm believer in uniforms; I would like to see everybody in something very universal so then we wouldn’t have these issues because, in schools with uniforms, it takes the ‘what do I wear’ idea out of the equation. But, seeing as we are a public school, I would like to at least see the dress code be a little bit stricter,” said Denise Steward, an English and AVID teacher.

Overall, although revision is desired by many, it is ultimately up to the Carlmont community and staff to decide if these changes will be considered.

The Carlmont Dress Code can be found on page 9 of the Scots Handbook.