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The Teenage Walk of Shame


On my second day of high school I was singled out by a security guard in front of my friends and I can still remember the scrutinizing look upon her face. Skipping the pleasantries she simply said, “Those shorts are way too short to be wearing.” 

I had nothing to change into and she didn’t give me any replacement. To start off my highschool career I spent my day glancing at the people around me and pulling down my shorts worrying about how I looked.

If you are dress coded by any staff member, which they all have the ability to do, you are asked to change into something more appropriate.  If you refuse to change you can receive detention or possibly a call home if you continue to ignore administration.

According to the HR student handbook, “District-wide standards on student attire are intended to help students concentrate on schoolwork, reduce discipline problems, and improve school order and safety.” 

There is not one single person in charge of enforcing the dress code, it is more of a collective responsibility of the HR staff.  

In order to learn we must first be comfortable in our environment. The dress code enforces an ‘us vs them’ mentality, it seems to be more of an issue over control than actually making sure everyone feels comfortable. 

From what I’ve heard from fellow students the dress code seems to have the opposite effect. Singling a person out and forcing them to change is humiliating and takes time away from actually learning. 

Making a girl change is telling her that a boy’s comfort is more valuable than her education. The dress code prohibits, “the stomach, buttocks, upper thigh, back, and breasts.” These body parts are only inappropriate for women. 

Infographic by Tessa Brennan

There is nothing inherently sexual about stomachs or shoulders but society sexualizes them nonetheless. This sexualization is translated into schools and young women reap the consequences.

Not only is the dress code disrespectful to women but allows men that they don’t need to stop looking, that it’s the womans’ fault. Boys should be taught to respect women. 

Body type also affects the likelihood of getting dress coded. Large chested women tend to get dress-coded more than small chested women because they are deemed as more ‘distracting.’ 

Schools should be a safe place to express yourself, girls shouldn’t be worried if their skirt is a credit card length above their knees or their straps are two fingers wide. We are here to learn and how is that possible when all focus is put on what we are wearing and if it makes others ‘comfortable.’

Why do I as a woman have to interrupt my learning because a boy is distracted by my shoulders?

Tessa Brennan, Staff Reporter

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The Teenage Walk of Shame