Although there are many disadvantages to a school dress code, one may argue that a dress code is beneficial and crucial to be implemented in public schools. While many students are against the dress code, there are reasons for why the policy exists.
Dress codes can increase student achievement by encouraging students to concentrate more on their studies and less on their wardrobe. Choosing what to wear on a daily basis can be a struggle, especially if a student knows that her peers wear branded clothes and accessories. This often makes students feel pressured to wear trendy clothes, so that they can “fit in.” A dress code can relieve the pressure put on teenagers to buy expensive designer clothing in order to “be cool.” Imposing a strict policy on what students should wear can motivate them to focus more on their lessons instead of on how they look and what to wear everyday. Although this policy does not necessarily include wearing school uniforms, regulating the clothes worn in school can prevent distractions that keep a student from concentrating on his or her studies. A de-emphasis on clothing can also save money, as there will be less pressure to keep up with expensive trends and fashions.
Something that should be considered when arguing whether a dress code should be implemented or not is that school is for learning. Ultimately, learning should come first. Things that distract from learning should be reduced if possible. Students are not allowed to bring their pets to school or to play video games during class, because those are distracting and prevent students from focusing solely on learning. So, if a boy wears a minimalist tank top or a girl wears a revealing dress, it is a distraction, and thus it should be avoided if possible.
However, schools should not take away students’ rights completely. Creativity is of utmost importance for young adults. They should be able to express themselves through their clothing. It is important to enforce dress codes to a certain extent in public schools. While some rules can become too extreme, students should be given standards regarding the way they dress in school. Dress codes are relevant and have a purpose, but must not be entirely restrictive.
While teenagers will always find a way to express themselves, imposing boundaries can prevent them from resorting to extremes that can sometimes lead to undesirable consequences. School dress codes are a way to teach students the importance of a respectable appearance which is a lesson that can positively impact their self-respect and self-esteem.
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