LMS Girl’s Claim Dress Code Unfair


Kennedy Rosendahl and Zoë Mason

At Landrum Middle School, the girls often consider the dress code too strict because there are many unrealistic rules and restrictions. 92% of the 2018 sixth-grade girls believe that the dress code is too restricting. It is a very popular opinion that the dress code should be changed.

The dress code at Landrum Middle School includes rules about all clothing. For example, shorts or skirts cannot be any shorter than four inches above the knee. Also, jean rips/holes cannot be above the knee. Railey Player, a sixth-grade student at Landrum, states, “I want to be allowed to wear shorts because pants are too hot for Florida.”  Shorts are not allowed at Landrum because they are too short.

Many middle school students want to be in style. The current trends are crop tops, ripped jeans, Birkenstocks (backless shoes), and off-the-shoulder tops. All of these trends are not in dress code. Many girls attempt to wear these clothes to school, but end up getting dress coded and getting forced to change.

The other, much more uncommon opinion, is that the dress code is not too restricting. Mary Manis, another student at Landrum Middle School, thinks that the dress code is very fair. She believes that the rules are in place for a reason and the dress code should not be altered.

Compared to Pacetti Bay Middle School, Landrum’s dress code is less strict. For example, Pacetti Bay does not allow rips/holes in jeans, while Landrum does, below the knee. Also, there are some similar rules too. Both middle schools don’t allow any type of headgear.

The statistics show that dress code has been credited with improving academic achievement, improving school pride, and encouraging self-esteem. But, does dress code really affect the way we learn? For example, just because you are wearing something out of dress code doesn’t mean that you aren’t learning and achieving.

The argument is that certain clothes will be distracting to other students, which is why most schools have a dress code. Baldwin Middle School, in North Florida, does not have a dress code. Baldwin Middle’s average test scores are ranked at a 2/10. On the other hand, Landrum’s average test scores are ranked 10/10, according to greatschools.com. This may or may not have anything to do with the dress codes at each school but it most likely has an effect on the participation level.

At Landrum Middle School, two female students were recently dress coded for their shirts on picture day. They might have their yearbook picture in their physical education uniform. Therefore, they will most likely take retakes for their yearbook picture. Girls want to wear their preferred outfit on picture day without being worried about getting dress coded.

Students at Landrum Middle School are not the only ones who think the dress codes in St. Johns County are unfair. Change.org, a site that hosts petitions, has a petition called, “Change the Dress Code for the St. Johns County school district.” 267 people have already signed this petition. If enough people sign this, the county may alter the dress code.

Dress codes have some benefits, too. Dress codes reduce violence, and sexual harassment. Also, it makes the school have less social structure. For example, some girls have “cooler” clothing than others. This could lead to hurting someone’s self-esteem. According to NAESP, school principals report an increase in school unity, which increases a student’s motivation to do well, all because of dress code.

In the Landrum Middle School dress code, clothing with profanity or inappropriate slogans, confederate flag apparel, advertising of alcohol, drugs, sex, weapons, and racial themes are not allowed. According to the Constitution of the United States of America, you are allowed to express yourself anyway you would like. Although, if the school deems the clothing item “distracting,” they are allowed to make you change. Many families argue that this violates your First Amendment, especially your Freedom of Speech.

Dress code has benefits and disadvantages. Only 8% of female students at Landrum Middle School believe that the dress code should not be altered. The other 92% is hoping that the dress code at Landrum will be changed.