Dress code. A dumb thing that strips students of their individuality. Dress code is put in place to create a more professional environment, but I go to work in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt. As a quiet individual who struggles to get herself across to their peers, I always used my hair and clothing to express the me hiding inside. I may come off as cold and quiet, but my clothing showed my bright and loud personality I can’t ever fully express.
There have been many attempts to remove dress code from prior students or current. Any time a petition goes around, the district always raises the required number of signatures that are necessary. District will state we only need 1,000 signatures, but once we reach this, they will raise it once again. High school years have always been a time for discoveries. You’re trying to figure out who you are, what you like, and who you want to become in such a short time period. In my high school even, flannels have been banned due to them seeming to have gang related patterns or some other reason. Flannels aren’t even a design, it’s a type of shirt! School districts will label things as inappropriate even if there is nothing wrong with it. You cannot have any turtlenecks or any colors other than the shades they chose for us.
According to nces.ed.gov, only 21 percent of schools have some type of uniform. There are approximately 100,000 schools within the U.S. This means around 20,000 schools within the U.S have uniforms. Teenagers long to have the ability to express themselves. Having a different hair color from the crowd sets you apart. When I dyed my hair purple for the summer, I felt so much more confident. I was girl with bright purple hair. It set me apart from the crowd. It showed me who I was and wanted to be. Once school started again, and I had to dye my hair a natural color, I felt inferior and like another face in the crowd. Nothing set me apart. We all had the same uniform, same pants, same hair colors. I felt as if I just fit into the crowd and nothing set me apart. My purple hair provided me with confidence, going back to my brown hair I lost it all.
I understand not letting students wear shirts with explicit content or super revealing items, but forcing every student to wear the same exact items seem excessive. When you go out, you never want to have someone match your outfit. When that happens, you don’t feel as confident about the outfit you once chose. It seems like something you thought was a creative decision you made yourself was just copied. Imagine that with 200 kids matching your outfit. No one would feel confident with what they are wear.
Uniforms don’t prevent bullying. Nothing could ever stop kids from picking on one another. Just like girls just wanna have fun. Students just wanna have the ability to express who we are with our hair, make up, and clothing. When schools force us to wear the same outfits as everyone else it strips our confidence. We are just another face within the crowd, instead of showcasing our individuality. Uniforms will never stop any issue it is put in place for because they can only address so many. It just causes a bunch of teenagers to be mad at the system, which tries to control how they want to express themselves.