The Hart District’s Controversial Dress Code

Brooklyn Stevenson, The Scroll, Staff Writer

The Hart District dress code owns a reputation for being written by people who want to overly control what students wear. Females are the main target by the dress code and are made to feel like they must watch what they wear so they are not treated as sexual objects by society. Males; however, are required to wear clothes that don’t have offensive statements and not show undergarments. The dress code is not as enforced as much for males and only follows very few requirements.This unfairness of a sexist dress code has caused a lot of controversy amongst students and adults.

Some believe the dress code promotes toxic purity. In this context, purity is the act of practicing modesty. Modesty can easily be taken too far and lead to the point of controlling others because they are not covering up to the standards. Others believe the dress code has absolutely no problems or it should be more strict. These people believe that modesty should be heavily practiced and to “teach” students how to dress professionally.

Even though there have been changes made to the dress code, such as all schools being allowed to wear tank tops, many believe this change should have been made a long time ago and intense control still remains present. The dress code supposedly was written as a “reminder” for students to dress in a professional manner to avoid a distracting environment. The dress code acts as a way of controlling what a female wears because the education system and society are too lazy to educate self-control and respect towards women. According to The Washington Post, “A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence study found that just 4.4 percent of all reported rapes involved “provocative behavior” on the part of the victim. (In murder cases, it’s 22 percent.) It also found that most convicted rapists could not remember what their victims were wearing.” In many cases, women are put at fault for males acting completely immature around their clothing and women are now unsafe in this world because of this sickening issue. Even though evidence proves that clothing is not the problem, society still uses the blame. Women should be able to wear whatever they feel comfortable in without being treated like sexual objects by people who do not have self control.

The following is the current dress code for the Hart District: 

  • Clothing must completely cover the chest, torso, and undergarments
  • Tops must have straps ( Middle schools used to not be able to wear tank tops)
  • Safe footwear must be worn
  • No clothing that depicts violence, hate, adult content
  • Clothing that obscures the face may not be worn with the exception of face masks (due to covid) and religion

At first glance one may think there are not any problems with the dress code, however when analyzing the dress code there are numerous issues. The dress code mostly focuses on female clothing and not so much male clothing. Women are the main target of the dress code even though they should have the freedom of wearing what they feel comfortable in. Depending on how developed a woman may be, it can be very difficult covering up to the dress code’s standards. In all fairness, the chest should be completely covered, the torso should be mostly covered but a little stomach should not be a big issue, and shorts should at least cover the buttocks. Shoulders are not a big deal and it does get very hot outside which may require a tank top so a student feels comfortable. Clothes are not the cause of a distracting environment, if one were to be distracted by clothing they are in fact the problem and not the person wearing the clothes.

Grown adults with no control who act immature around certain articles of clothing are also a part of the percentage of people who do not respect women. These adults also have the power to bash female clothing and females. Women end up feeling very sexualized by them and extremely uncomfortable. According to PBS about, “ … 17 percent of men and 83 percent of women [are] sexualized.” Also stated by Unicef”.

 Consequences of hypersexualization for girls and women include anxiety about appearance, feelings of shame, eating disorders, lower self-esteem and depression.” The percentage of women who get sexualized still increases at a very alarming rate. The psychological effects that a woman may experience from being sexualized also portrays an atrocious problem as well. Eating disorders and body image issues are a huge problem in society. These issues can also lead to anxiety and depression as mentioned above. Human beings should feel comfortable in their own body and not feel ashamed of themselves. 

People need to stop being careless and teach everyone how to control themselves and be respectful. The Hart District should address the problem of females being made uncomfortable because of their clothes. The district should educate all students and teachers that clothes are just clothes and not a distraction or an opportunity to act unprofessionally. The clothes are meant to express style and never meant to be a distraction.