Dress code suppresses expression

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2004

The school is completely wrong in their decision to enforce a dress code policy such as this at Juneau-Douglas High School. I graduated from JDHS two weeks ago. I have gone through four years of schooling at the high school and I think this policy will take so much away from the students in years to come. These are the years that we learn to express ourselves. These are the years that we become who we will be as adults. It is not the high school administration staff's job to decide what students should be wearing to school. I agree that any clothing that may be used as a weapon should not be allowed at school, but Scott Whiteley is completely right when he said a pencil can be as deadly as anything. I also agree that any clothing that depicts violence, the use of tobacco, alcohol or illegal substances should be prohibited. But saying that, "Skirts, dresses and shorts must be long enough to go beyond the students' fingertips when their arms are at their side" is going way over board.

Parents are the only people that should be deciding whether or not their children are wearing enough clothing when they leave for school in the morning. Teachers said that students were showing "way too much skin." Too much skin for whom? You don't have to wear it, so you shouldn't judge it. Unless the student is causing possible harm to other students or staff members, there is no reason the administration should get involved. The dress code bans clothing "that could be associated with gangs." How ridiculous is that? Of all the people in the world, I'm certain that our principals know more about how gang members dress than anyone else around. My point is, what does a gang member dress like? Where do you draw the line?

For America being a free country, it's very ironic that there are so many things in this nation we are not free to do. The last year of my high school career was filled with new laws at school, and it's pretty melodramatic of the administration. Maybe instead of stacking up the student handbook with new things we can't do, the staff should re-evaluate their policies and see how much it's really going to make a difference. Don't put another rule on the board. It's not fair to the students.

Jaimie Kennedy

Juneau



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