Student dress code policy reform indicates that schools are more and more transforming into a culture that is controlled by students. Students have a historical record for pushing the envelope until school officials finally bend and adapt rules that favor the young people that they serve. As students advance the school dress code, school officials will need to ensure that the new rules do not create a disruptive culture that interferes with the primary function of schools which is education.
In a recent article, California school district’s less ‘sexist’ dress code draws mixed reviews, school officials of the Alameda School District have laxed the rules of the student dress code. Gone are the days of disciplining students for showing to much skin amongst other things. The new policy is a result of the combination of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct and that girls with more developed bodies often were singled out for discipline ranging from lunch detention, picking up trash on campus, a phone call home, or having to change into baggy clothing.
The new policy seems to be a contradiction to the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature and the unwelcomed or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Sexual assault is an act in which a person sexually touches another person without that person’s consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.
It appears that the new student dress code is going to invite additional sexual harassment and sexual assault cases. Women in revealing clothes are most likely to be approached by men as compared to the ones who dress conservatively. The girls in the school will attract additional attention due to the clothes that they are wearing.
It is reported that there are ten types of clothing that guys find attractive that include:
- High socks
- Tank tops
- Crop Tops
These are the same clothing that the school is allowing female students to wear. The bigger problem is that these clothes are designed to get a reaction from guys. The age and maturity level of the male students will present challenges.
According to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, the boy’s in the school will have a negative response to the new dress code policy. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. In elementary terms, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The school can expect a negative reaction from the boy’s in the school. The #MeToo movement will be a contributing factor. Schools are also a socializing agent. The school will fail miserably at socializing both the males and females.
Schools can expect for the female students to become involved in more fights as they continue to vie for attention from the boys. This is in direct opposition to the intent of the new initiative. Schools will find these fights on Youtube and can expect an influx in disciplinary referrals for the girls in the school.
Since the girl’s are not going to be as available for the boy’s and the boys will refrain from interacting with the girls, schools can expect for the gender-neutral battle for bathrooms to accelerate. As a result, schools can expect an increase in complaints from parents resulting in bad press and increased civil rights lawsuits.
The new initiative will also have a negative impact on staff members. Male staff members will have to be careful with how they interact with the girls. This could jeopardize their livelihood in the school district and some male staff members may choose to become employed in a different school district or elsewhere. Therefore, contributing to an already manifested teacher shortage.
School districts can also expect for female staff embers to dress more provocatively. This will cause challenges with the union as they represent their clientele. The new dress code will impact schools in ways that are not beneficial to schools, students, parents, or community.
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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