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Dress code must teach respect


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♦ Staff Editorial ♦

Every year, it gets worse.

The shorts get shorter, necklines plunge lower, and everything fits tighter.

Every year, students test the faculty at Naperville North. They welcome the warmer months with risqué trends, daring staff members to report them; however, staff efforts are almost futile.

The dress code is a failing system.

Students recognize that they can take advantage of this policy. The rule-breakers grossly outnumber those who can reprimand them, making dress code infractions exceptionally difficult to enforce. The precedent has been set, and short-shorts have emerged victorious.

However, NNHS should want more than the status quo. After all, high school prepares students for “real life.” All NNHS students will eventually interview for jobs and enter the workforce. And in a professional environment, crop-tops, mini-skirts, and exposed boxer shorts will not be tolerated. Each and every student who walks through the halls of NNHS today will need to know how to present him/herself as a respectable adult tomorrow.

The dress code could show teenagers how to make this distinction. Academia requires an enormous amount of precision and dedication; in many ways, it is a student’s first job. With that in mind, students should dress to show that they respect and appreciate their position. They should know when to trade in a provocative pair of short-shorts for a classy dress, a pair of low-hanging basketball shorts for a pair of well-fitting khakis. If enforced, the dress code could teach students how to dress professionally.

Yet, the dress code cannot help students as it stands. The policy needs clarification. Instead of using fingertips as a guideline, the dress code should include a specific inseam measurement for the most common offender, the infamous short-shorts. This would take away all subjectivity. Students would no longer be able to declare the system unfair because of their “abnormally long arms,” and they would no longer have any reason to shrug their shoulders in a desperate attempt to have their fingertips touch the hem of their shorts. Nearly every retailer sells shorts in a variety of inseam lengths, and they advertise those lengths for shoppers.

The district could also email NNHS students and guardians links to places where they can purchase school-appropriate clothing. This would provide students and parents with examples to follow and with a starting place to find articles of clothing that actually follow the dress code. Despite popular belief, there are school-appropriate options for purchase.

Yet, these changes still demand a certain level of maturity. Students must want to dress professionally and present themselves respectfully. When staff members choose to crack down on dress code infractions, everyone must be willing to adjust.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Dress code must teach respect”

  1. Noah on May 29th, 2014 8:25 pm

    This is a good idea! Plus they should make sports uniforms dress code legal–as of now cheer and cross country both break the code with school spirit!

    [Reply]

  2. All Day Jay on May 30th, 2014 11:52 am

    This is a well written article! I completely agree with your suggestions. If Admin choose to follow the protocol you suggested, students will not only gain some more respect for themselves and from their peers, but they will get first hand experience on how to look in the work place when they are adults.

    Great article!

    [Reply]

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The student news site of Naperville North High School
Dress code must teach respect