Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior class meetings were held on Thursday, September 7th, about the expectations for this school year.
The one thing that disconcerted a lot of people was the revised dress code. After the meetings, some girls felt like the dress code was targeting them, because there are more restrictions on them than on the boys. Some girls can’t even wear the clothes they have already purchased.
Examples of restrictions to the dress code are articles of clothing that expose the midriff and/or cleavage, or any clothing that exposes the skin inappropriately. A lot of the clothing girls want to wear falls into these categories.
”It’s crazy. We can’t wear ripped jeans, halter tops, shoulderless tops, and other stuff,” said junior Sarai Blunt.
Some girls took a different view. Junior Takeira Grant said, “It’s good. Last year you couldn’t wear ripped jeans period but now you can, but with stockings under it.”
Domonique Boone, a junior, expressed his feelings about the dress code this way: “It is targeting girls, because girls can’t wear their clothes.” Fellow junior Jaquan Anderson agreed.
According to the Portsmouth Public Schools Code of Conduct, there are more restrictions for girls than for boys. The Code states: “Tank tops, halter tops, garments with spaghetti straps, tube tops, fishnet tops, strapless dresses…” are not allowed. By comparison, the boys are restricted by fewer regulations, with sagging pants and hats being the main areas of concern.
Sophomore K’la Woodruff believes that the dress code will be more enforced this year than it was last year.
Mrs. Graham, our ninth grade assistant principal, stated, “We just ask at Churchland that you make sure that you represent yourselves decently and in order.”
During Graham’s first year here at Churchland, she heard about the concerns about the dress code the previous year. “We would like students to remember the fact that you’re in your high school years and we are trying to prepare you for college and beyond,” she said.
Sophomores Aniya Harper and Breonna Johnson said of the revised dress code, “It’s too much,” and, “They’re overdoing it.”
Assistant Principal Mr. Austin said, “We follow code of conduct, and in the code, it doesn’t state that girls can wear halter tops and such. There is a time and place to wear your clothes such as in your home, but on school grounds we follow the rules.” When asked about how the dress code will be more enforced this year than last year, he said, “The dress code was enforced [last year], but the guidelines were followed strategically.”
Photo: K'la Woodriff