Dress code views vary despite school board policies

Since being back in person many people have been noticing changes when it comes to the dress code. What most people may not know is that the dress code is based on school board policy. 

Policy 7:160 Student Appearance reads, “A student’s appearance, including dressing and grooming, must not disrupt the educational process, interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching/learning climate, or compromise reasonable standards of health, safety, and decency. Procedures for handling students who dress or groom inappropriately will be developed by the Superintendent and included in the District 214 Student and Parent Handbook.”

The last revision of this stated on the website was, August 24, 2017. Many believe an updated version of the policy is needed.  

“I had no idea that the school board creates and reviews these policies,” freshman Courtney Pasdo said. “I wonder how much student voice has been involved.” 

In the past, some students felt they were targeted based on their gender when it came to dress code violations. 

“I think the way violations were in the past were a bit iffy, especially with the targeted gendering,” senior Megan Snow said.  “Also, I think the older generation may be more sensitive to clothing choices than younger generations.” 

Regardless of formal changes to the school board policy, many students have noticed that more individual expression in what they wear has not been penalized or coded this school year.

“There seems to be more freedom of what people can wear.”

— Freshman Courtney Pasdo said.

According to Division Head of Student Success, Safety & Wellness, Danielle Ossman, there are arguments for and against having a dress code.

“I think it’s good that people are talking about it and expressing their opinions on the topic,” Ossman said.  “I think you can argue it both ways.

One problem is that the wording of the policy can be interpreted in many ways. For example, some people believe that hats pose a safety concern, while others think they are simply another form of self-expression.

Regardless of where the dress code stands, we should continue to have conversations about the topic that include student voice.  

“I enjoy sharing my thoughts on this topic and hope to share my opinions. ” Pasdo said.