Students react to a stricter dress code


Lauren Johnston, Staff Writer

BHS students are looking for changes to be made following the announcement of a stricter dress code in the 2022-2023 school year. Outrage has broken out amongst students after staff has tightened the rules on spaghetti straps, midriffs, graphics, and chests being shown off. 

These new enforcements have impacted many students, specifically female students.

Dress codes across the country have come under scrutiny for having guidelines that can feel like a direct attack on female students for spaghetti straps and shirts that reveal too much cleavage. 

Clothing fits differently to various body types. As stated in the dress code, “Clothing must cover the chest and torso and lower extremities to mid-thigh…Clothing may not be see through and must cover undergarments.” These guidelines can be difficult to follow depending on the way a certain article of clothing happens to fit.

Senior Ahlivya Hill said the dress code affects her by targeting girls who have more curves.

“I can’t really control the way my shirt falls. It would be different if it was on a girl with a smaller chest and I don’t think it’s fair it specifically targets girls with a bigger chest,” said Hill. 

Olivia Pridemore was dress coded for three days straight and when she asked for their reasoning  she said it wasn’t provided to her, and instead she was sent to the dean’s office citing her attitude.

“Usually with guys they don’t think it’s a big problem but for girls, who it’s more targeted towards, it’s more problematic because a belly button shouldn’t be distracting and if we are distracting then the guys should be the problem,” said Pridemore.

When reviewing the dress code, the new principal Kristy Cleppe had to view it through the eyes of a student and a teacher. Having to make policies that make students appropriate in a work environment while still taking fashion into consideration is a challenging task. 

“That’s what makes it so hard to write a policy that meets all those needs because you have fashion, what you can find in a store. So it was trying to find a balance of you can still be fashionable but have parameters,” said Cleppe. 

Hill uses her clothing style to show off her personality and it allows her to make school a more enjoyable experience, but being restricted on what clothes she can wear makes her feel objectified in her learning environment.

“The action of dress coding distracts the learning environment not only for the person being dress coded but for the students and peers around them who are now staring at that person,” said Hill. 

On Wednesday, Aug. 31, students wore clothing that defied the dress code to protest against the guidelines. Elias Lightfoot, a junior, participated in the protest by testing the difference between boys and girls getting dress coded.

Lightfoot unbuttoned the top three buttons of his shirt and Pridemore wore a cropped shirt. According to Lightfoot, no one said anything to him about breaking the dress code compared to Pridemore who got dress coded.

“It was really confusing because why are they saying they like my outfit, but when a girl shows their belly button people freak out,” said Lightfoot.  

Students are looking for changes to be made to the stricter guidelines with the new dress code and are willing to take matters into their own hands to see it happen.