Proper attire not equally enforced among boys, girls

School enforces outdated male, female clothing expectations


Monse Rubi Soto, Staff Writer

As expected, the Akins High School administration began enforcing the Austin Independent School District dress code policy after the first week of the school year.

Some students said they felt like they have heard announcements and experienced more citations of violations for breaking the dress code policy this year. Students have been penalized with ISS, Saturday school or parent conferences. From a girl’s perspective, there has been confusion about enforcement of the dress code because they believe they are being targeted more than boys.

As a girl, I do feel like young women are the greater target for regular dress coding. I recognize the importance of the school dress code, but I think it has gotten out of hand.

During the first days back from summer break, there were girls already complaining about being dress coded because they were showing their shoulders, or because their shorts were too “distracting.”

Many see this policy as a joke. Some of my classmates made jokes to their teachers about not being able to focus because of someone’s distracting shoulders.

When I heard this, I felt uncomfortable because this is what the dress code policy has done. No girl should feel intimidated by comments like this.

Girls shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not their out ts will be too distracting for others in their classes, and boys shouldn’t just come to school to see what girls wear. No one should ever feel uncomfortable in class. It is unlikely that men in school originally had a problem with the things women are dress coded on, but the citations and announcements regarding them bring attention to it. Throughout history, many women have gotten rules and regulations over what they “can and can’t” wear.

We are now in the 21st century and the dress code policy is yet another regulation on what girls can wear. More than half of AISD dress code regulations affect female students, about seven out of twenty are either for both, and two out of twenty AISD school dress code regulations affect male students.

That is a major difference, and it is clear that girls are being discriminated against.

In the real world, many girls wear attire that in school is considered out of dress code. At parties, at work and in stores women wear shirts, shorts and pants that are not permitted in schools. The difference is that the public has moved away from the stigma around what women wear. There is a misconception that women wear clothes that would be considered “inappropriate” to attract attention when girls are often prioritizing comfort or practicality.

On many occasions, I have seen boys been out of dress code by wearing athletic shorts or saggy pants. They are often not dress coded for these things, likely because it is not “distracting” or they are men. It’s 2018 and the style of clothing is very different than before.

School dress code regulations are unfair and enforced unequally. I believe the school board should consider updating the dress code policy and make the dress code equal between men and women. They should consider whether or not clothing is actually “inappropriate,” or if an unfair standard is being set for women in schools.