As the school year comes to a close, people are starting to dress seasonably. The naturally hot and humid weather of upcoming summer in Kansas has students shedding winter layers. Vice Principal Britton Haney recently sent out an email reminding students of the dress code at East.
The email broke down the parts of the dress code — why it is in place, what it is and who it affects. According to Haney it is in place so that school is an area conducive to learning. It affects all students, whether they are male and female.
The bulk of the email, though, was stating examples of certain violations. If a student’s clothes are distracting or taking away from another student’s learning, it is against the code. The email created some conflict among students, particularly females.
“Clothing that may be considered a disruption includes, but is not limited to: spaghetti straps, plunging necklines, pants that are sagging with underwear or flesh showing, halter tops, back-less shirts, and midriffs,” the email read.
This particular section caused some females, sophomore Katie Aldrich for example, to feel targeted. From Facebook posts to papers scotch-taped up in the hall, the email made waves. The papers placed around the school were from an anonymous author. The author stated things such as if a guy gets distracted by a girl’s clothing, they should learn to respect females better, and that a girl will dress how she feels comfortable and not have to worry about how a male’s education will be taken away from them.
Aldrich received the email and didn’t agree with the content. She, among with a handful of others, posted on Facebook arguing against the purpose of the email. She made comments about it being “absolutely ridiculous” and how boys need to “grow up and realize girls will dress how they want.”
“I understand that there is a rule about dressing decently in public, but in my mind, no one has crossed that line into indecency,” Aldrich said. “The way girls dress is an individual expression of themselves and that shouldn’t be taken away from them.”
However, the administration defends itself. They said the email was directed toward the marijuana leaves and Budweiser T-shirts, and people were getting too caught up on the spaghetti strap comment.
“I don’t make the dress code,” Haney said. “I don’t think it is a big problem at East. However, it is a district policy and if you have a problem with it you can take it up with the school board.’”According to Haney, the email was not meant to get the negative attention that it did. It never flat out states that it is only girls’ clothing disrupting education. Instead, it said that if clothing brings any undue attention, it would be addressed. There was no direct attack towards either gender.
“I don’t find people’s clothes distracting,” freshman Ben Dollar said. “It doesn’t take away from my education at all. Girls and guys should both feel free to dress however they feel comfortable.”