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  • Imani Elsey

The Infamous 'No Ripped-Jeans' Policy: Equal Enforcement for All?

Churchland High School sophomore wearing ripped, distressed denim jeans.

Spirit Week at Churchland High School means dressing up, fun, and games. However, many students here feel as if the school rules aren't enforced equally, and some rules are enforced more for females than males.

Imagine fraternal twins Kimberly and Korey figure they want to go all out for twin day. As soon as they arrive home, they immediately decide on what they would like to wear - choosing from two outfits consisting of ripped jeans and a black-and-white striped tee, or white slit-knee jeans and a denim shirt. They went with the ripped jeans fit (outfit).

The couple arrives to school the next day feeling more than confident and even a little excited. Walking down the halls listening to their music, they get stopped by the school’s administration. Apparently the twins didn't realize they were violating the school rules.

In this scenario, some students believe Kim would be sent to ISS for her above-the-knee ripped jeans, but Korey may not. Why is that?

Churchland High School enforces the “no ripped-jeans” policy, which emphasizes that rips and/or tears have to be underneath the shin.

Some students wonder why the rips can’t be fingertip length like skirts and shorts which expose the entire leg. Most students, however, understand that if the holes in your jeans are the size of golf balls then the rules should apply.

Many even believe that the dress code rules are being unfairly applied to females more than males. If a female has rips in her jeans above the knees, some students say that she will be more subject to disciplinary action than if a male has rips above his knees.

The “no ripped-jeans” policy is enforced mainly because of the growth in sexual harassment awareness in schools around the United States, and possibly even due to the physical attraction of the female to the male eye. This means that females are subject to more scrutiny than males for what they wear.

“Coming from a male's perspective, when he recognizes a woman, he can automatically can see the physical attraction of her body and things he could do with it, not the beauty of the mind and soul,” said a teacher who wished to remain anonymous.

Some students say that their parents pay a great amount of money for the piece of clothing that is assumed to be a distraction and that having rips isn't really a big deal.

Another policy that has many students at CHS angry is the one regarding cell phones, which many would agree applies to all students about the same - both males and females.

A random poll of 70 CHS students shows that the “no cell phone” rule is the second most unfair school policy that is enforced strongly.

“What if an individual has a personal emergency and they aren't able to contact their parent? We aren't even allowed to use the nurse's phone. Half of the students at school don't even have cellphone service in the building,” said a sophomore at CHS.

School officials, however, put the rule in place because the device might be used at inappropriate times, such as in the classroom while a lesson is being taught. The rule is also highly enforced because students may come into the building playing music aloud through a portable speaker during transitions to class.

Security guard Mr. Johnson points out the cell phone policy to a student. In the background, CHS principal Mr.Millaci discovers some cell phone service.

Photos: Imani Elsey

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