Dress code committee making a district-wide change


Source: WCUSD Parent & Student Handbook

Atiyana Sowell, Opinion Editor

Since school reopened, students have been dressing for hot weather. It doesn’t take long to spot students with exposed shoulders because of their tank tops or other styles that traditionally break dress code. 

Students, especially female students, recently shared their liking of the relaxed attitude toward dress code. Junior Annistan Guthrie took notice of the relaxed nature. 

“I feel like it’s more freeing to dress the way I want and I worry less about how I look before coming to school,” Guthrie said. “Everyone seems happier this way and it’s a good way to have self-expression.” 

Talk of strict dress code regulations have recently been brought up. One thing is clear about statements from Assistant Principal Rick Ortega. 

“We have too many students breaking the dress code,” Ortega said. “We’re going to start enforcing the dress code again because we’re seeing too many violations.” 

Freedoms students are enjoying are looking to go away. Some common infractions students may now be penalized for include crop tops, tank tops, ripped jeans, or protective hair tools like do-rags and bonnets. Regulations against these styles can feel outdated and not in tune with popular ways of dress now adopted by students. 

Some students feel the code is too restrictive and targets particular groups of students. Clothing primarily worn by female students is regulated more than typically male clothes and one of the sections of WCUSD dress code guidelines explicitly bans protective hair tools used mainly by black students to guard their natural hair. 

Principal D’errico recently shared that dress code guidelines are being revised and that comes in the form of a dress code committee made up of teachers, principals, and a pair of students selected by administration.

“We have meetings set up in the future to discuss the changes that the code needs,” D’Errico stated. “Times have changed significantly since the last time the code was updated, which was when I was in school.” 

Of course, this doesn’t mean there won’t be rules at all. The committee serves to edit the rules that exist to better fit the dress trends of today. Freshman Lluvia Velasco shared her thoughts on a new dress code regulation. 

“I really don’t mind students wearing different clothes, but some students wear short shirts that literally look like bras,” Velasco said. “I think students should dress however they want, but with some moderation.” 

“We’re working together to give students freedom and also have a level of profession at our school,” D’Errico said.

These beliefs are in line with the purpose of the committee, according to D’errico. These committees exist in all schools within WCUSD.