Opinion: Dress Down Stress

Traditionally, when the captain of the girls or boys varsity basketball team makes the half court shot during the homecoming pep rally, the whole crowd erupts in cheers. Along with pure excitement, students were also cheering for the all-school dress down day that their peer on the court had just earned. Fast forward to this year, when Hannah Smock so perfectly made the shot: whoops of excitement filled the air, but the enthusiasm fell a little flat. Simply put, dress down days aren’t what they used to be.

Along with the new dress code, a new “dress down day dress code” has been put into place. While this title sounds like a contradiction, it is no mistake. Yes, girls and boys are  allowed to wear jeans, shirts without collars, and non-dress code skirts no more than 3” above the knee, but creativity and self expression stops there. Students are no longer allowed to wear corduroys, shorts, sweatpants, or high-top sneakers, which seems to more or less defeat the purpose of “dressing down.” While it is evident that St. Luke’s always wants  students looking their best, this new dress code seems to suggest that the school does not trust the student body to make good decisions.

Although the students’ dress code philosophy states that, “when students follow a dress code, it takes the emphasis off appearance and places it on learning,”  the constant hunt for dress code offenders completely changes the learning dynamic. Instead of focusing on education and improvement, teachers and students frequently play a game of tag when it comes to dress code offenses and the consequences. Evidently, the environment which the dress down day dress code establishes between student and teacher is one that pulls away from academics, which are notably more important.

When students go to school on a dress down day, there is no reason for them to be afraid that they will receive a detention for wearing something as innocuous as corduroys. Not to mention, solid colored “dress corduroys” were in regular dress-code until this year. What’s more, boys’ shorts are part of the spring dress code, so why can’t they be worn on a dress down day? Furthermore, what is so problematic about high-top sneakers when work boots are acceptable?

Dress down days were once an escape from uncomfortable pants and the threat of detention, but now have turned into a controversy. In fact, it seems that new rules and regulations are quickly defeating the true meaning of “dress down.” St. Luke’s must uphold its excellent image, but is it really necessary to limit students’ creativity and self expression, even on days that are supposed to be exempt from strict rules?

–Gracie Zaro, Staff Writer

Posted by on October 14, 2014. Filed under Op-Ed,School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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