More Than A Distraction


Photo courtesy of CNN

Natalie Petticolas, Opinion Writer

With the weather getting warmer, one issue that’s been coming up lately is the issue of dress code. But this isn’t just an issue in LCHS. Last year in New York’s Staten Island, 200 students got detention over dress code infractions, almost all of them female. In Florida, students who violated the dress code were publically humiliated and forced to wear “shame suits”. Sunnie Kahl, an eight year old girl attending Timberlake Christian school, was transferred from her school by her parents, after getting in trouble for “not looking feminine enough”.
“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment,”Doris Thompson, Sunnie’s grandmother, read from the letter to ABC 27. “We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.”- USA Today

There have been many protests made against these rules, and more so on the sexism they encourage. When you pull a girl out of class to tell her how short her skirt is or that she needs to cover up, your teaching girls thats its their responsibility to not distract the boys, instead of teaching boys to be respectful towards these girls. What a person wears does not give someone permission for anything, no matter who they are. There have been many campaigns on this movement, as well as people’s ridiculous dress code stories going viral. The campaigns usually include T-shirts,often with the popular slogan: “I am more than a distraction”.

Not only does the dress code target women, but members of the LGBT community. According to GLSEN, out of 7,800 students nineteen percent said they were prevented from wearing clothing deemed “inappropriate” based on their gender. Students switched gender norms for a day in Buchanan High School, after the school board chose not to revise a decades-old dress code that violated state gender rights laws. They voted against letting boys wear earrings and have long hair, and refused to remove the saying in the code that skirts and dresses are for girls.

At West High School in Columbus Ohio, a lunch lady denied a student lunch just because he was wearing a bow in his hair. The next day, many male students retaliated by wearing bows in their hair to show their support for him, starting the tag #BowForBoys. Many people in favor of dress code often help schools argue that it helps eliminate distractions, but it does a lot more harm than good. Singling out kids on what they’re wearing often tells kids that they shouldn’t wear what makes them comfortable or happy, but that they should dress according to how their clothes affect others.