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why do we have dress codes in school

Over the past decade the school dress code has become an increasingly common policy in many communities worldwide. As opposed to the requirements of students to wear specific clothing in the form of uniforms dress codes provide guidelines through which students are allowed to wear any clothing that meets the school s requirements whether they pertain to the color style or cut of the clothing. Consequently school dress codes are designed to create a certain atmosphere in a school while providing students with a bit of freedom of expression through their wardrobe. And yet while many parents applaud the demand of school dress codes as a way to ensure that their children are dressed properly others question whether the requirement of dress codes in school eliminates their child s individualism. Experts claim that there are many benefits of school dress codes. Here are some of the most important advantages:
1) A dress code promotes a more serious school atmosphere which emphasizes academics and promotes good behavior. 2) Dress codes have proven to increase student achievement by encouraging students to concentrate more on their studies and less on their wardrobe. A de-emphasis on clothing can also save money as there will be less pressure to keep up with expensive trends and fashions. 3) Dress codes in school settings reduce social conflict and peer pressure that may be associated with appearance. 4) Studies indicate that a school dress code can reduces the prevalence of certain behaviors which are often expressed through wardrobe such as violence or promiscuity. 5) As opposed to uniforms dress codes still allow students to wear what they want which leaves students with a sense of choice and expression.

While teenagers will always find a way to express themselves imposing boundaries can prevent them from resorting to extremes that can sometimes lead to undesirable consequences. School dress codes are a way to teach students the importance of a respectable appearance which is a lesson that can positively impact their self-respect and self-esteem. Clothing as a primary means for expressing ideas for students is as primitive as clothing itself, yet schools across the country often grapple with whether to enforce strict dress code policies that may interfere with a studentsв right to self-expression. While school boards are generally allowed to create and enforce dress code programs within their districts, they must do so without violating the constitutional rights of students. School Dress Code Laws The first school dress code law was established in 1969 by the U. S. Supreme Court. The case, known as, involved several high school students who wore black armbands to school in a planned protest against the Vietnam War. In a far-reaching decision, the Court essentially decided that schools may limit student expression (such as enforcing dress codes) if there is a legitimate concern that such expression will be disruptive to the learning environment or violate the rights of others.

Today, most states have laws that allow school boards to make dress code rules for students within their district to promote a safe, disciplined school environment, prevent interference with schoolwork and discipline, and to encourage uniformity of student dress. For instance, dress codes that prohibit clothing that is vulgar, obscene or worn in a manner that disrupts school activity are generally permitted в whereas dress codes that censor student expression because educators do not like the message are generally not permitted. Dress Code Policies vs. Freedom of Speech Not all speech is protected in a school setting. For example, students who wear clothing that follows the latest fashion trend в such as oversized shirts and slouchy jeans for boys, or short skirts and mid-drift cut-out shirts on girls в or clothing that supports a particular sports team, religion, or political point of view, may be prohibited in dress code policies if the studentвs choice in clothing draws attention away from the schoolвs learning environment. Therefore, limits on dress codes have including the following: Limits on вgang-relatedв clothing, sometimes described as over-sized clothing and other clothing meant to show affiliation with a certain gang or group, such as certain colors, logos, brand names, or arrangement Ban on suggestively-themed T-shirts, such as Marilyn Manson t-shirts Limits on skirt, shirt, and pant length Ban on clothing that depicts lewd, sexually explicit, or idecent drug use Seasonal closthing restriction, such as limits on midriffs and lower backs not being exposed in hot weather Freedom of Religion Issues In contrast to limits on dress as a means to providing a safe learning environment, school dress codes, in most cases, cannot be used to prevent students from expressing their religion beliefs.

Both the Constitution and most state laws protect studentsв rights to wear religious attire inool school, such as the wearing of a turban, yarmulke, or head scarf. What Schools Can Do Generally, schools have the right to create rules that provide an effective public school education for its students. Both students and staff of primary, elementary, junior and senior high school campuses have the right to be safe and secure in their persons. This means that school may include in their dress codes methods which further the goals of a learning institution and that prevents violent or abusive behavior. What You Can Do Students and parents should obtain a copy of your schoolвs dress code policy to get an understanding of what may or may not be acceptable clothing at school. For questions concerning whether the policy infringes on your constitutional rights, you may wish to consult with an education attorney in your area who can advise you of the laws in your state.

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