School has been in session for almost two weeks and like many of you, I have to dress “to not distract” instead of “dressing to impress.” As a Chicago Public Schools female student, I am absolutely disgusted. Some of you probably heard about the flood of sexual abuse/harassment allegations in our schools that weren’t talked about. Now that everything has come to the light, some schools thought it would be a good idea to enforce strict dress codes.
The principal at King College Prep in the Bronzeville area got the spotlight for telling parents and students that she made the dress code more “conservative” to prevent sexual assaults. Incoming freshman girls were told at orientation, that the school expects them to be covered from the top of their shoulders to their knees. Yes, we know that their have been sexual abuse cases throughout the city of Chicago, but does that give principals the right to pose a dress code to make a sad attempt to prevent sexual abuse? All dress codes do is perpetuate the oversexualiztion of girls. Basically, the adults are implying that the way that a female student dresses is her fault for being harassed.
I’m not the only one feeling a certain kind of way. Here are some other CPS students that weren’t too happy about the dress code either:
“Honestly, I think it’s stupid because instead of addressing all of the sexual assault cases at hand, principals think that it’s best to patrol females when it’s not our fault.” –Mykaylah, Senior, GBCPA
“It’s sexist and it prevents us from expressing ourselves. My own principal even said that the way us girls dress are the reason women are sexually assaulted. My shoulder should not distract a man and I shouldn’t have to cover every inch of my body because a boy cannot control himself.” –Aaliyah, Senior, King College Prep
“I personally don’t care because it doesn’t affect me, but with the looks of it, I don’t like how they shaped these new rules. Girls should be allowed to wear what they want just like guys as a sense of equality.” –Rino, Senior, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep
“I find it goofy because now my school is trying to ban shoulders. That’s stupid. What are shoulders going to do? They’re just shoulders, they can’t distract me or kill me. I think the dress code should be more lenient to students being able to express their creativity and opinions.” –Cassius W.P., Sophomore, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep
“It sounds to me like they’re trying to prevent another scandal by getting girls to cover up… I think they should enforce rules and punishments to boys who sexually assault girls and vice versa.” –Jimena, Senior, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep
Clothing is not the problem. If your employee or a student gets turned on or distracted by a glance at a shoulder, back, bra strap, or leg, something needs to be done. CPS needs to keep that same energy when boys walk into school rocking overly sagging jeans and other clothing styles that are considered inappropriate to the student eye, because I just might get distracted by an arm. If you’re going to enforce a dress code, make sure it’s for EVERYONE. Support your female students! Safeguard the learning environment for female students, instead of hindering them from a quality education because they’re wearing a crop top, or a skirt that doesn’t reach passed a finger tip.
Get rid of the dress code that disproportionately targets girls.
Jada Daniel, Senior, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep