Every year, Venice High students complain about the school’s dress code policy.
Earlier this school year, I walked onto campus ready to start my day, and I saw many girls on the quad holding dress code violation slips printed on pink pieces of paper.
To me, those girls were wearing normal outfits. But according to the school, their skinny jeans had one too many rips, their bra straps were visible, and their tops went an inch too high.
According to the 2021-2022 Student Responsibilities and Standards of Attire Agreement, a document that many students had handed out to them during the second week of school and periodically since then, students are prohibited from wearing clothing like “tube tops,” “halter tops,” “tops that show any part of students’ stomach (midriff ),” or “extremely short shorts.”
The dress code is just unfair. Venice prides itself on being a school by the beach in sunny California, yet admin seems to be shocked when a student wants to wear a top that will let them feel more comfortable in 90 degree weather.
I know that a majority of the girls on campus would rather wear a tank top or a halter top to school. When the air conditioning stops working, all they want to do is just feel comfortable, and they can’t do that in a long sleeve shirt.
Adding onto that, the rule regarding bra straps is unreasonable. As a teenage girl, it’s quite hard to not show a bra strap sometimes. Some girls have bigger cup sizes and some have smaller sizes. Finding a bra that fits and doesn’t show a bra strap at all can sometimes be difficult. It could also slip or be pulled too high, but there’s nothing we can do about that.
We all have different body shapes and sizes, yet the school dress code forces us all into the same “idea” of comfortable clothes.
Additionally, you know there’s something wrong with the dress code when female students are scared to take off a hoodie because they think someone on campus is going to be distracted by their shoulders or their belly buttons. No student should be forced to wear a hoodie during a California summer because someone might be distracted by their bare stomach.
I understand certain things can’t be worn at school for one reason or another. However, it seems unjust for the school to tell a teenage student that they can’t wear something because the body they were born in is a distraction. We as females already get our body criticized enough by society as a whole. We don’t need to receive the same treatment at school.
Venice needs to find a way to have a functional dress code while also understanding the struggle that female students experience from clothing restrictions. Simply asking female students what they feel comfortable with in the dress code would likely show amazing results.