Dress code laid bare

Carly DeCock, Staff Writer

“Why does it matter if you can see my bra strap or if my clothes are revealing? It’s not some big secret that girls wear bras or have legs!” Allie Ryave, Upper St. Clair High School sophomore, questions the reasoning behind dress codes not only in USC, but in public schools everywhere.

School dress codes define what students can and cannot wear in class and vary from school to school.

Dr. Louis Angelo, Associate Principal, explains how a USC dress code violation is approached: “Whenever an adult notices a student in violation of the set dress code, the adult notifies the principal’s office who then calls school security and the complaint is addressed.”

While the Upper St. Clair school district is fairly conservative with few reported dress code violations, some students still feel that the school should be more lenient with the rules.

USC sophomore, Liam Carse, agrees, “The dress code is slightly too strict. It’s the school’s responsibility to make a code to keep students decent and focused, but it’s infringing on our rights. Kids should be able to wear what they want until it becomes a distraction.”

Allie Ryave also shares, “I think our school does a pretty good job with understanding that girls aren’t going to be covering every inch of skin on their body, but I still think we have ways to go. My problem with it is that it’s aimed mostly at girls.”

Emma Wagner, USC senior sees eye to eye with Ryave’s issue regarding girls being more restricted in the dress code. She states, “Boys should have as many restrictions as girls do.”

Liam McClelland, a junior, also thinks, “There should be fewer restrictions for everyone.”

“The dress code is written for both boys and girls to follow; however, the clothes that are ‘in style’ for boys these days don’t conflict with the dress code. I had to reprimand many male students for baggy pants showing their boxers before they abandoned the trend,” reveals Mrs. Stephanie Fisher, FST and Algebra 2 teacher at USC.

The majority of dress codes prevent students from dressing “provocatively” or “seductively.”

An anonymous USC senior protests: “I don’t think showing shoulders or a tiny midriff is suggesting any form of sexual activity!”

Mrs. Jen Kirk, USC guidance counselor and curriculum leader of the guidance department, states that she wouldn’t be opposed to uniforms because it would eliminate the dress code controversy. However, uniforms would most likely not be introduced because Upper St. Clair is apublic school.

“It would take a ton of committee work, but I think it would make it easier on everyone else,” Kirk offers.

The dress code is less restrictive than a uniform policy, but there were varying opinions among students whether they would be in favor of them.

USC senior Megan Jones and sophomore Allie Ryave both agree that uniforms would alleviate the stress and time that goes into deciding on their daily outfits.

Megan discloses, “I wouldn’t mind having to wear uniforms. It would make it so much easier, cheaper, faster, and less complicated for everyone.”

However, students such as Kelly Conner, Jonny Summers and J.J. Young (all USC seniors) are strongly against the idea of mandatory uniforms for the kids at Upper St. Clair High School.

Young believes, “It seems like a hassle having to wear the same type of clothes every day, and it would make coming to school even more boring.”

Conner argues, “How are we supposed to express ourselves with uniforms?”

Summers worries that he “would have trouble keeping the same outfit clean for every school day.”

Mrs. Kirk concludes, “The dress code’s rules are what everyone has to follow, not to mention they’re board approved, but if students make wise choices getting dressed in the morning, they’ll easily be able to follow the dress code.”