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The OnLion

Eisenhower Dress Code

Grace Blessington, Editor

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It may seem simple to some, but dress code expectations have become a concern for many, especially as the school year has begun.

As expected in a time of technology and modernization, the Eisenhower students were met with dozens of new regulations regarding the 2016-2017 school year. Besides getting used to the new check-in, check-out system for Flex time and learning the ropes of the new allergy-free zones, students were updated with the newly improved dress code expectations.

While most rules have remained the same over time, administration has made it clear that they’re cracking down on dress code for everyone.Through a detailed advisory presentation, administration spelled out the dress code for all students, making it an obvious priority for the school year: “[outfits must be] appropriate for our learning community.” According to the dress code expectations, “failure to comply…will result in school consequences.”

But it’s one thing to tell a group of students something; it’s another to get them to follow it.

in a survey of 15 students, 50% of them said, “they only really worry [about dress code] when I’m wearing a risky outfit.” ”

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 In the hopes that administration simply cares enough to make sure students get the message, The Onlion took a closer look at the dress code expectations. “If in the opinion of a staff member any apparel is unacceptable the student will be asked to change into more appropriate apparel,” reads the administration-approved dress code. Essentially, any staff member can deem a student’s outfit as an inappropriate violation of the dress code and consequently have them sent to the office to change into the available apparel.

It’s easy to ask questions when it comes to dress codes in high school, especially in a time of change when it comes to sexist standards within dress code expectations. Are boys and girls being treated the same? Why does it seem like male students get away with more than female students do? Is there underlying sexism?

64% of students surveyed feel that sexism “definitely” exists in the dress code”

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It’s not uncommon for female students to feel targeted for their clothing, whether it’s at school or in public. When asked on a survey of Eisenhower students, an anonymous student said, “[I have] definitely…been judged my teachers about what I am wearing.” And it’s not just sexism; claims of “favoritism”, “popularity contests”, and temperature issues arose from the simple 15-person survey taken by the Onlion. One surveyed student recalls a situation where they realized there was an issue with the current standards: “I was having a conversation with a few class mates about the dress code; it was a mix of boys and girls. Almost every girl had a friend( of the female gender) or themselves get dress coded, where as none of the boys had been dress coded or heard of a male student being dress coded. This presented itself as a red flag that it is obvious the female students are continually being dress coded over boys.

“Girls should not have so many restrictions against their bodies. The dress code does not specifically target girls, however it does limit stereotypically feminine clothes more than stereotypically masculine clothes. You can see by the standards the administration is setting up that the school dress code IS sexist, demeaning, and incredibly restrictive. I can assure you that more girls have been sent home because of their outfit choices than guys. I have not ONCE heard a story about a male in the IKE student body being sent home due to the school dress code.””

— Evelyn Slawski

There seems to be several clear solutions to these claims. Every single student surveyed responded positively to the idea that something needs to be changed within the dress code, whether it’s regarding enforcing it or the entire set of rules and the messages they encourage. “Personally, I find it incredibly hard to focus when I am either too hot or too cold, and with a fluctuating in school and out of school temperature students should be allowed to dress for comfort.This is not to say that there aren’t people who dress innappropriately, just that some of the set dresscode boundaries seem too extreme. If the school really wanted us to do our best and learn our best they would do whatever they could do assure that we were comfortable, and if something as simple as putting on a coat is what it takes to get a student more focused in class, I see no reason for it to become an issue.”

Many students surveyed also voiced concerns that the dress code is tailored to support the concept that girls will distract boys from learning if they dress inappropriately. “Administration is already starting the female portion of the Eisenhower student body to think that the way they dress is the reason men sexually assault women. Let’s face it, the dress code limits girl’s outfit choice so they do not distract the male portion of the student body. We should NOT be teaching girls to dress conservitavely for men, we should be teaching boys to not objectify women, especially based on their clothes,” says one student. “Yes, it is more uncommon for guys to wear more revealing clothing, but in the summer many of them wear tanks that are tight and just as revealing as a girls tank may be. The dress code and the way it is presented suggests that all of the girls motives are to turn on guys and dress like sl***. It is demeaning and sexist,” argues another. One student from the survey made it simple: I would just like to see equality. I understand some people will wear very risky outfits to school but most cases of people getting dress coded is because the boys will be distracted which is not our fault that boys cannot control themselves. How will boys survive the real world if they cannont focus with a girls shoulders showing?

From the other side of the spectrum, perhaps Eisenhower students should feel lucky; the simple crop top or choker chain consequences of Eisenhower are nothing compared to schools around the United States who have been enforcing rules that seem downright crazy. Fort Myers High School student Cam Boland was stripped from her National Honor Society title after wearing a dress with spaghetti-straps. In March of 2015, Missouri high schooler Savannah Keesee was dress-coded for her new hair color. Administrators told her that her new red-headed look was, “really bright” and that she wouldn’t be allowed to return to school until she dyed it back. Karlie, an adorable 8 year old from New Jersey, was suspended after she wore the “wrong shade” of green to school. While all of these instances seem out of the ordinary, it’s not unlikely that this year’s stricter dress code could result in some controversial decisions.

While the double standards and overt inequality are clear issues to some students and obsolete to others, one thing is clear: it’s important to keep asking these questions, even if the rules are already set in stone. In a time of rapid change and development within society, students have the power to speak up for the better.
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Eisenhower Dress Code