The Dress Code Should Apply to All or None

Fatima Mendez | El Verdad Section Editor

Whatever job you apply to or whatever school you attend, there’s going to be a dress code. It is reasonable, of course–you can’t show up to school or work wearing provocative clothing.

But is Livermore High School enforcing the dress code a bit too much? Last year, many girls got reprimanded for showing too much of their shoulders.

Holley Nordvik, Child Welfare and Attendance Specialist (CWD), claimed that the “no shoulder” rule was never a rule, and said, “I don’t know who made that up, but that was never a rule.” The one strap still had to be two fingers wide. Nordvik believes that “It’s not that strict if you think about [it], we’re very lenient.”

Is this true? So far, I haven’t heard that anyone has received a referral, but then again, the administration tends to be lenient for the first couple weeks of school.

Jennifer Walker, a math teacher at LHS, believes we should have a dress code and that it should be enforced.

“Students have to understand that you have to dress professionally,” she declared. “And so I believe dress code should be more strictly enforced–in fact I would like to [have] uniforms.”

This year, Walker has only seen about one person per class violating the dress code and she would simply give them a warning.

She also believes that the dress code should be enforced by the teachers, stating, “I think teachers should enforce it more but I understand a few struggle enforcing it, including the opposite gender because it can be turned around in a negative way.”

Renee Hennessy, English Teacher, like Walker, is all for uniforms. “It’s easier, it makes you feel like you’re a part

The “No shoulder” Rule

of something.” Hennessy also mentioned that, though clothing can be used to express individuality, it can also be used a way to bully other kids. “What you wear can be used against you.”

Hennessy also claims, “Young people are over-sexualized–I have a daughter and I don’t want anyone looking at my baby like that.”

Tim Vierra, who teaches Physical Education, seemed very reluctant to offer his opinion on the dress code. He felt it was a very sensitive topic to talk about, but he was able to give a statement. “We spend a lot of time worrying about it…it should be treated as precursor to the working world… it’s a business environment. It should be treated as such” Vierra said.

Roxana Mohammed, Vice Principal at Livermore High School, claims that the dress code was changed last year. “We recognize that the school district has a dress code so what we did at Livermore High School was kind of adapt to the fashion, so we allow the shoulders with the straps. So we follow the dress code but we allow more adaptability.”

Mohammed continued to say, “We should dress for success,”  and that students should wear what fits the environment.

Erik Taylor, Vice Principal at LHS, chimed into the conversation and mentioned, “We don’t like making students feel bad, there’s just a certain range and we just try to prepare them for the work environment.”

Sophie Betekas (grade 12) understands why we have a dress code in place, but she believes not showing shoulders is a bit excessive. Similarly, Nadia Braatz (Grade 12) feels that there’s favoritism going on, and said that “The fact that you get [a] dress cut for showing a little bit of your stomach, but when girls come with v-necks already down to their…ribs–like it’s ridiculous, [and] I personally think we should focus more on that.”

Betekas feels there should be common ground, and the school staff should understand the reality of what’s going on and that’s it’s difficult for many students to adhere to the dress code. Braatz also thinks they should take different body types into consideration.

“A skinny girl and a chubby girl–the girl who is chubby is going to get dress cut,” Betekas believes.

After hearing from the school staff and from my peers, I also think we should have a common ground. We have a dress code for a reason and it should be followed. We should understand the fact that the staff recognizes and understands the current trends and is  willing to be more lenient due to our different styles and body types. The CWAs and teachers should also take into consideration that we are all unique.  They should try to make an effort to  talk to the students with more empathy. And lastly, if the dress code is going to be enforced, then it should apply to all students.

Picture Creds: Fatima Mendez

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