Does a student’s clothing affect their education or that of other students? Many people are wondering and recently there have been many questions regarding gender inequality issues. Well, here's another one: The school dress code. Many people don't see it as an issue of gender equality, but some do. To the students at Sweet Grass County High School, the dress code seems a tad sexist and biased. Why do students feel this way? One reason is because if a girl walks into school in a tank top that shows her shoulder more than the school would like when it is 88 degrees outside she will be told to change because her shirt is too provocative for school and will distract classmates. In some cases, this is completely understandable. However, if a boy sees the shoulder of the girl sitting in front of him, is it really going to hinder his ability to learn? This issue pertains specifically to not being able to wear T-backs in school. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but it has been brought to attention as a gender inequality issue, rather than a school dress code issue.
The gender inequality specifically comes into play regarding T-backs when boys start wearing "bro-tanks" to school. When boys wear these, their shoulders are visible and there is a low arm hole, but that is not expected to cause anyone to be distracted from learning. The next question is why? Why can boys wear "bro-tanks" when girls can not wear T-backs? This is the question students are asking that leads this rule to be controversial and borderline sexist. The rule was initially put into the school dress code for girls, but should it not then apply to boys? The answer from our principal's point of view is simple: no. If you were to look at the T-back rule that way, you have to look at every rule that way. For example, girls can wear leggings to school, so technically there are no rules that boys can't wear leggings, but if they did they would get asked to change because it would be inappropriate. That is understandable enough, but what is inappropriate about a girls shoulder? Mr. Ryan said the dress code may seem sexist, but all rules just depend on the situation, but maybe the situation needs to be reevaluated. Junior Erin Dringman said “I feel like you have the right to wear what you want” which sounds like a common consensus throughout SGHS. The student voice that is listened to regarding issues with the dress code is our Student Councils. Perhaps our Student Council can discuss this issue and bring it up to the school board.