Dress codes: Where should schools set limits?

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  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    @RedShirtUofU - I meant that dress codes are hard to enforce from a legal standpoint when it's not specific, and most schools aren't specific enough. They use words like "appropriate" or "inoffensive" and use ambiguous measurements such as "three fingers" or other units that are variable. I realize they do this so kids and parents won't have to break out the measuring tape every morning, but that's also the same reason we get people who push the limits because it's "close enough..." More or less, what you're talking about is a uniform.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    It appears that when I mentioned "sexual harassment" it may not have been clear as to what was meant. Sexual harassment is defined by SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) as the following:
    1) Unwelcome sexual advances;
    2) Requests for sexual favors;
    3) Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects an individuals' employment, unreasonably interferes with his/her work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

    Based on that definition, harassment need not be physical or verbal. It could even be a picture displayed on someone's desk. It could be an email. It could be many things including how someone dresses.

    Sure, people are welcome to dress how they want, but when it infringes on someone else's ability to perform their work whether it be emotionally, physically, mentally, etc, they (the person dressing inappropriately) need to change. Again, this is a matter of respect for one's self and others. How we dress says a lot about who we are and what we think of ourselves and others.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    April 16, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    I am shocked at how commonplace it is for people to walk around with their underwear showing. It isn't just the young people who do this. I have seen plenty of adult women who wear leggings while forgetting to put on their pants, and men who can't seem to keep their pants up with a belt! I am equally shocked by some of the statements in the article that lead one to believe the dress code is arbitrarily enforced. I am a huge fan of uniforms simply for the fact that fashion changes while the uniform for schools has remained stable.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    "Extreme violations of dress code policies in the workplace can and sometimes do result in sexual harassment claims."

    Sexual harassment leads to sexual harassment claims...

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    April 16, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    @vangroovin Dress codes are expressly designed to limit freedom, self-expression, and force conformity, all of which does not respect the rights of the individual. One should wear clothes they feel comfortable wearing but also be cognizant of not being offensive, i.e. profanity, etc. Also, take responsibly for ones actions, if someone cannot control their actions/reactions based on someones clothing choice they honestly need to work on that character flaw, we are adults, right?

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 16, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    One difficulty with establishing dress standards is because its impact is subtle. On the one hand, a boy with long hair or a girl with tight pants doesn't really seem to change anything if you analyze it as a specific, isolated case. But when boys regularly have raggy hair and girls regularly wear clothing that shapes and emphasizes their bodies, there really comes to be a big difference in how the students and faculty feel, even if they don't realize it.

    As for the American flag shirt thing; if displaying the America flag in America during some other country's holidy is considered contentious, maybe the people bothered should go to that country.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    Modern fashion seems to have only one goal: to make a person appear as ugly as possible

    Tattoos everywhere on the body and especially on the face; clothing with obscene logos or phrases; as little clothing as possible to allow as much cellulite exposure as possible; or whatever the current sports or celebrity scandalmaker champion is wearing.

    I just don't understand it. Most of us are homely enough without trying to make it even worse.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    April 16, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    To "Shawnm750" actually dress codes can be easy to enforce. You pick a few colors for polo or tee shirts, a few colors for long pants, a few colors for shorts. Done. If length on the shorts is an issue, you can include a measurement above the knee that is acceptable. Any teacher will be able to identify a student that is dressed out of code.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    @vangroovin - While you raise some good points, I think you're oversimplifying the issue. Dress codes are tricky to enforce if their purpose is to maintain "appropriateness" or even "modesty." Even trying to define "professional" is difficult. Unless a dress code exists to ensure safety it becomes a gray area for most institutions or organizations and defending enforcement can be difficult.

    Also, I don't think it's fair to ever place the blame of sexual harassment on someone, simply for what they were wearing. No matter how scantily clad someone is, that's not an invitation to someone for inappropriate comments or actions.

    But I don't disagree with dress codes. Honestly, I think people should appropriately for the occasion. Once upon a time, people dressed up to go to the movie theater, school or basically any time they went out in public. While I don't think we have to dress as fancy as those people used to every time we leave the house, I think as a society we could all make a little more effort to look our best when in public, whenever possible.

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    April 16, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    I think this is an issue of respect: respect of yourself and respect for others. If you respected yourself, would you dress in a way that would draw unnecessary attention to your physique? If you respected others, would you dress in a way that would detract their focus from what they are doing to you? Dress codes help remind us what is and is not appropriate for our business or school, etc. The purpose isn't necessarily to prohibit "freedom of expression / speech" but to facilitate an environment of respect through minimizing distractions. Extreme violations of dress code policies in the workplace can and sometimes do result in sexual harassment claims. Young children may not file a claim, but they may feel uncomfortable around someone who is dressing inappropriately. Why would that individual not be allowed to feel respected and comfortable in class?