The political mask mandate debates have triggered strong feelings and began taking action on a seemingly unrelated issue: Florida school dress codes. With all the protests and walk-outs going on around the district, students have begun to take action in attempts to change the county’s sexist rules.
School’s clothing standards being directed at females has been a recurring issue for a while, with the rulings that certain apparel must be certain lengths and lots of fashion choices cannot even be worn if not up to the school’s high standards. Telling a school girl to cover up, in today’s society, is sending the girl a message that she is being sexualized and must adhere to the boy’s inability to focus because certain parts of her body such as stomach or shoulders are deemed “distracting”.
The ongoing problem of males sexualizing females has recently sparked up again in schools all around. Forcing someone to cover up because they are a distraction to others is doing just that. “I can dress myself,” sophomore Meryssa Parker said. Girls have always made it clear that they dress for themselves, not for anyone else.
Students are taking a stand and dress code walkouts are happening all around the country in an attempt to be noticed by authorities and to accuse their academy of ‘slut shaming’ and sexism. Protests are also ongoing with students rebelling the clothing rules and hanging up signs around the school saying “Teach boys to focus, not girls to cover up,” “If children’s midriffs distract you, you should not be working with children,” “Stop sexualizing women” and many more.
The main discriminating rule at the moment is that shoulders must be covered so they are not to be a ‘distraction.’ Although people may argue this is not a sexist rule since all genders have these body parts, a recent study made by Bartram Trail High School statistically proved that in March alone, 90% of dress code violations were against girls. Another one of many claims against the ‘no shoulders’ policy is that we live in Florida, it’s going to be hot every single day, people would rather wear attire that doesn’t make them even more humid than they already are.
Males can wear tank tops all they want, but as soon as a female rocks one, someone has an issue.
Tiktok star, Drew Jarding went viral for posting videos of him and another schoolgirl wearing similar crop-tops to school to prove a point that dress code is sexist. “Several of my female friends have been dress-coded time and time again and for wearing the same things I wear and many other guys.” Jarding reported after going multiple school days wearing items of clothing that he states his friends have been called out or written up for but no one said a word to him.
Allowing everyone to wear whatever they feel comfortable in, allows for students to show who they really are; Telling them to cover up, tears away at their confidence. “All students are expected to dress in a way that will show respect for themselves as well as others.” The ‘School Unified Dress’ handout for Broward County public schools states.
Dressing appropriate for learning is agreeable until it gets too ridiculous that girls can’t wear spaghetti strapped shirts in fear that the opposite gender will get turned on.