Is there a dress code controversy? Students and staff weigh in

A return to school means that the dress code takes center stage


Christopher Alvarez, General Editor

The dress code at Enochs has always been controversial among students. A variety of different opinions have been voiced on it, with some saying that it’s sexist, unfair, or just plain restricting. This 2022-2023 school year, the dress code has been a subject of discussion again.

A lot of students, particularly female students, hold a common criticism that the dress code is sexist. This comes from the fact that the ratio of girls that get dress-coded is higher compared to boys, and from the fact that wearing certain clothes is labeled as being distracting.

One of the students, who wished to just be referred to as Angelina, had strong opinions on it. “I feel like it makes me more insecure than I already am, for example, if I have my shoulders out and I get dress coded I feel worse. It all seems really dumb to me because there are so many restrictions that don’t really make sense. I doubt that wearing something like a crop top would be a distraction.” 

Another common criticism is that it restricts expression. Some students feel like their freedom to express themselves is compromised by the dress code. 

I feel like it makes me more insecure than I already am – for example, if I have my shoulders out and I get dress coded I feel worse.

— Angelina - an Enochs student

“I think it’s dumb,” said a member of the class of 2023, who wished to remain anonymous. “I think that it’s okay to ban beanies for summer, like whatever, but banning all hats is kind of dumb. Especially since they only allow Enochs hats. It seems a little weird to me.” He also mentioned that he used to wear beanies regularly but can’t anymore due to the dress code. “I hear them claim that it’s disrespectful. I don’t really see how it is either.”

With all this in mind, we reached out to Mr. Drake to comment on these criticisms.

 “We try to make fair modifications that fit our standards here. Students are allowed to wear things that they are comfortable in, but not anything unreasonable in a school environment.”

 Mr. Drake also clarified the reason the dress code seems more strict this year than it seemed last year. “With COVD last year, we were just happy to have students back on campus. Since we took a whole year off, we were a lot more relaxed with the dress code. Now that things are back to normal, we have to enforce the dress code more. If you look at the school years before COVID, students followed the same type of dress code that students do now.” 

He made sure to also clarify that the dress code is not meant to be sexist. “Boys can be dress coded as much as girls. There have been a lot of cases where boys are wearing a shirt with an inappropriate design.” The administration office has school-appropriate clothes for dress code cases. 

When asked about hats, he talked about how Enochs is a lot more relaxed with the dress code compared to other schools. “Some schools don’t even allow hats at all. We allow hats, as long as the teacher is okay with it and the student is wearing an Enochs hat. However, we can be tough with them because they can be used to conceal earbuds or Airpods during class.” 

Mr. Drake believes that the dress code is fair for a school environment. 

“There has to be reasonable expectations. We personally do not have a problem with girls and boys wearing what they want on their own time. We only want students to dress professionally and appropriately. You wouldn’t show up to a job interview in a shirt that had an inappropriate design or a crop top that shows too much skin.” 

“There is always controversy about the dress code at the start of the school year. Students always eventually get used to it, and we dress code less and less as time goes on.”

Whether or not you believe that the dress code is fair or not, we have to respect what rules the administration has for us.