Dress Code: Two Words that Have Created Many Opinions

Dress code: two words that have many viewpoints and opinions.

Over the summer, the Board of Education implemented a new dress code for Woodland Regional High School students for the 2016-2017 school year. Students were taken aback when they heard of this new dress code. In prior years, students were able to wear whatever they chose with the restriction that “it had to be appropriate for a school day.” Appropriate shorts, tank tops, spaghetti straps and sleeveless shirts were permitted, but now they are not allowable unless they follow certain rules.

The new dress code put forth by the Board of Education states (page 35-36 of the Parent/Student Handbook):

  • Outer jackets and coats-including windbreakers-are not to be worn during the school day.
  • No hats, caps, bandanas, or hoods from hooded sweatshirt.
  • Shirts and tops must lie over the waistband of the pants. It is appropriate to have shirts tucked in and required to have them buttoned.
  • No spandex; clothing length should exceed the length of the student’s fingertips when arms are resting at their side.
  • Underclothing should be covered at all times.
  • Tank tops must be worn over or under T-shirts, shirts, or blouses. If worn underneath, blouses should be buttoned.
  • Transparent mesh, or spaghetti strap tops or clothing with holes are not allowed.
  • No bare backs, bare shoulders, or midriffs, or strapless clothing.
  • No platform shoes, flip flops, open-toe shoes without ankle straps, clogs, “crocs” or “heelies” (with or without wheels) at elementary schools.
  • No platform shoes or “heelies” (with or without wheels) at the middle school and high school.
  • No black-soled shoes, boots, or sneakers which mark the floor.
  • Baggy pants must be belted. Pants may not be worn below the waist or with undergarments visible.
  • No chains, wallet chains, dog chains, or other chains, may be worn.
  • No jewelry, accessories or dress related to drugs or alcohol, violence, weapons, tobacco, as well as, offensive signs, symbols, or words.
  • Sunglasses may not be worn in school except for a documented medical reason.
  • Students may not bring aerosol cans to school.


This dress code is posted throughout the school and is enforced every morning on the announcements. Students in violation of the dress code are asked to be sent down to the office each day.

Many females at Woodland are especially irritated with this new dress code. Seeing that it is still September and the temperatures seem to still be in the 80’s and 90’s, having to wear long pants and a shirt that is 3 fingers is upsetting to many .

“I think the dress code is a little over the top in the sense of how unrealistic it is to wear clothes that are ‘school appropriate’ in the types of heat we’ve been having,” said sophomore Nicole Sherman. “Also, I am confused over the fact that in college you are able to wear whatever you would like, even though the curriculum is more difficult; yet, the students are still able to learn.”

Many girls like to wear shorts and tank tops to stay cool seeing that the building is not air conditioned other than the library, cafe, and gym. Having to sit in 4 classes a day, 80 minutes long, with no air condition in jeans can become uncomfortable.

Senior Veronica Dergachev says, “We can’t wear shirts that show our shoulders because it is distracting to boys,” said Dergachev. “It’s understandable that shorts should not be so short that your butt is showing, but to ask for fingertip length shorts is a little bit much.”

Dergachev also said that over the weekend she went to the mall and walked in and out of about 5 stores with empty hands because she could not find shorts that fit the dress code.

Boys, on the other hand, have had an easier time adjusting to the new dress code. Typically, you do not see boys wearing spaghetti strap shirts and shorts that are violating the fingertip system.

“It doesn’t really affect me,” Junior John Frasco says. “I just feel like it’s not really a big deal and the only time girls really wear this stuff is when it’s really hot. So, girls aren’t wearing this type of clothing predominantly throughout the year.”

Although the boys are not so much affected by the dress code, they can still get penalized. Junior Bobby Hames says, “The dress code doesn’t affect guys in many ways other than we cannot wear vulgar language on our shirts or pictures pertaining to women.”

Hames also does not understand the three finger policy.

He says, “A shoulder isn’t appealing to my eye and I’m pretty sure it isn’t appealing to any other guy.”

Dressing appropriately for school is definitely something that all students should be doing. The question is, how strict does the dress code really have to be without violating so many articles of clothing worn by an everyday student?  With many different stances on this subject from females to males, it is something that will continue to be enforced unless otherwise changed by the Board of Education.

Other comments, questions, or concerns about the dress code from any Woodland students were addressed at the forum after school on September 13th  in the auditorium held by the Board of Education Representatives Anna Witkowski and Abigail Meliso.