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  • Merical Savage, Clayton Burton, K'la Woodruff

So, What CAN we Wear?

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

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