Wednesday, September 1st students gathered in the cafeteria, many wearing cropped shirts and high cut shorts, clothing deemed inappropriate by Salida High School’s current dress code as a form of protest against the rules.
Sophomores Jayla Peacock and Lily Modrzejewski took initiative and were the main organizers of the protest. After spreading the word through social media, and making a group chat with over 50 people, the majority of the school was aware of the protest, and a large portion of those people participated.
Dean of Students Cory Scheffel said, “I think the day of protest was more of a national movement.”
Salida High School isn’t the only school who protested their dress codes. Students around the country also participated as part of a nationwide movement to abolish sexism in the widely accepted rules.
Senior Maia Lee explained her reasoning for protesting the dress code, “I’ve always really struggled with the dress code rules,and since this is my senior year, I just wanted to make a change at the school.”
After a conversation with Scheffel, she decided to take her idea to the student council on the 22d of September with the intention of trying to
get the dress code changed.
“If there’s a problem, talk to us and work with us,” Scheffel said, “Our number one priority is education, not getting on kids’ cases about stuff.”
A big problem many people have with the dress code is how it disproportionately affects girls at the school.
“I think over the years [the school] has done a good job of erasing anything that’s gender specific,” Scheffel said, “It doesn’t specifically refer
to anything by gender, but in that there are still issues that need to be addressed.”
In a three page list, Lee wrote to the student council about how the dress code is extremely selective towards female clothing. A large portion of the rules state how crop tops, tank tops, and short shorts are inappropriate without mentioning much about clothing typically worn
She wrote, “The amount of times I have been dress coded for showing a centimeter of my stomach while guys are walking around with half
their underwear hanging out is disgusting.”
It has also been argued that dress codes support rape culture. Lee explained how: “Dress codes teach girls to cover up instead of teaching boys to mind their own business.”
She questions why it’s okay to interrupt a student’s education because what they’re wearing is considered distracting.
“It should be the other way around,” Lee wrote, “The person distracted should be sent home for being creepy.”
Peacock agrees that there are a lot of things wrong with the dress code.
She said, “It’s super outdated right now, and I just feel like there’s nothing distracting about having a shirt a couple inches above your belly
Sexist or not, dress codes have been a part of schools for a very long time.
“They’re built off a long tradition of having dress codes going back to when it was considered immoral to show an ankle,” Dean Cory Scheffel
Many people also feel personally targeted by how the dress code is enforced. Some girls get dress coded for shirts violating the rules, while others do not.
“I just feel like it’s not being evenly distributed to everyone” Peacock said.
When students participated in the protest against the dress code, some were dress coded, while others were not.
Scheffel commented on the issue, “With 400 students it’s hard to address everything with everyone or to even see things, so I think there are
perceived injustices at times.”
He explained how what many students may not realize is that the administrator who enforces the dress code may not have even seen them.
Ultimately, most students who participated in the dress code protest did so with the intention of changing the rules.
, “It’s unfair, it’s sexist, it’s biased, and I think it definitely needs to change.”