The Dress Code at WGHS: A Loose Fit, Just Like Your Pants

13 Dec

By Alexis Gonzalez

Sophomore Andrew Specht testing the boundaries of the school dress code’s prohibitions against headphones and hats. Photograph by Abigail Rundle.

Sophomore Andrew Specht testing the boundaries of the school dress code’s prohibitions against headphones and hats. Photograph by Abigail Rundle.

Short shorts, revealing tops, mini-skirts, hats in class, and saggy pants… Are these in the school dress code?

If you walk down the halls of Watkins Glen High School you may think they are, but when you read the student hand book, you find out they are not. Based on how some students dress at WGHS, many students seem not to know the school rules.

“It is the principal’s responsibility to enforce the dress code in their respective buildings. Middle school children may need more guidance because they are young and they may not know what is appropriate yet” said Mr. Phillips the school superintendent.

Mr. Phillips also said that there are not many kids who dress so inappropriately that it is disturbing to the student body.

“High school students should be mature enough to know what they should and should not wear,” Phillips said. “ Ultimately it shows your maturity level and how you view yourself as a person.”

Mr. Phillips does not feel that this is a big problem in our school district and if it becomes a problem it will be addressed.

Mr. Warren, high school principal, said he doesn’t really think the dress code is a big problem in the school district. He doesn’t get many complaints from students but ironically they are the people who want the dress code to be enforced. Most of the complaints tend to come from the teachers who are stricter about the school rules. He doesn’t like to address the dress code unless it is disturbing to the students.

“I rely on the teachers to send students to his office when they are dressed inappropriately.” he said. “I tend to handle the students in private, so I don’t embarrass them.”

Mr. Warren feels that when a student’s appearance becomes a disturbance to those around them it is a problem and must be handled.

“I believe the way a student dresses shows their maturity level,” Mr. Warren said. “High school students should know what is appropriate. However, their opinions may vary.”

Middle school principal Mrs. Somerville said she needs to teach the younger students on appropriate ways to dress which will help them with other rules of the school.

“Middle school students need a lot of guidance with appropriate ways to dress” Mrs. Somerville said.

She also relies on her teachers to send students to her when they are in violation of the dress code. However, she does not hesitate to let students know in the hallways when they are not following school rules.

“The toughest time for problems like this is right after summer when the students have been dressing in whatever they like for months,” said Mrs. Somerville

Mrs. Somerville also said that once school is in session and the students know the rules will be enforced they will follow them and the dress code is not an issue.

Administrators and students thoughts vary on this particular subject.

Tamijah Lawton-Stone a student of the high school stated that the dress code is not enforced in school, but should be. She also said that many people dress inappropriately and this does not send a good message.

“When it comes to the dress code I think everyone should follow the rules, our student body has rules for a reason” said Tamijah.

She also said this attracts the wrong kind of people and gets the wrong kind of attention. This is also distracting and disrupts the learning environment.

Tamijah stated that “dressing in a slutty way shows disrespect for both themselves and their peers.”

Victoria Wixson said that the dress code should not be enforced in school. She feels that high school students are old enough to wear what they want and that they are educated enough to know what is appropriate.

“We need to be ready for the real world, because no-one is going to be telling us what we can and can’t wear,” said Victoria.

In summary, it is apparent that the Watkins Glen School District does have a dress code. This dress code is enforced on a daily basis by the administrators. However, each administrator has different ideas about how the dress code should be enforced. The student’s opinions vary as does their appearance in school. Some push the limits and some follow the rules, as it is with the rest of life. We all should familiarize ourselves with the student handbook we are given at the begging of the year and learn to follow the rules. I know this will not happen, but it is sought after, just like world peace!!!


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