Students concerned about dress code

June 30, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Some students in Washington County Public Schools say the proposed systemwide dress code isn't much different from what they now have in each of their schools, but they still express concern over individual rights and revealing clothing when it comes to making rules.

Reashawnda Campbell, 14, an incoming freshman at Williamsport High School, said she likes the code, especially the rules keeping students from wearing skirts or shorts that are too short.

"Some people don't need to be showing what they're showing or wearing what they're wearing," she said.

Elizabeth Connor, 14, who will be a sophomore at South Hagerstown High School, agrees that students should not be permitted to wear provocative clothing, but said the rule regarding the lengths of shorts and skirts is going to be a tough one to follow.


"It's hard to find girls shorts that are fingertip length," she said.

Lauren Wright, 16, who will be a junior at Smithsburg High School, and Connor both said they rarely get a chance to wear shorts in school anyway, noting that their schools' air conditioning systems keep them cool enough.

Nathan Stephenson, 17, who will be a senior at Washington County Technical High School, said that sometimes school gets hot and students need the option to be able to wear lighter clothes.

He supports the rule banning shirts that include profanity, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, violence or suggestive, sexual messages.

Stephenson also supports the rule banning clothes that send suggestive, sexual messages, such as the rules regarding skirt and short lengths.

"It is distracting sometimes because (girls) just do it for the attention," he said.

But Jeremy Draper, 17, who will be a senior at Williamsport High School, disagrees.

"I don't understand the midriff thing for girls. I don't see why that matters," he said.

Emily Pinkham, 12, who will be a seventh-grader at Clear Spring Middle School, said she doesn't like the code at all.

"I think everyone should get individuality," she said.

She and Ivy Snyder, who will be a seventh-grader at Boonsboro Middle School, both said the rule banning chokers or jewelry with spikes is unnecessary.

"I don't wear it, but I know a lot of people who do," Pinkham said.

She said it doesn't distract her.

But Stephenson thinks even having a dress code is distracting. The dress code also needs to be consistent within the school, he said, because the rules seem to change from day to day.

Jennifer Ruff, 16, who will be a senior at North Hagerstown High School, said she feels the same way at her school, noting that one day she was sent home for wearing flip-flops and a few months later was allowed to wear them again.

"I just wish they'd give us uniforms and get it over with," she said.

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