Dressing Up or Dressing Down?

By Jenna Vespi and Mia Potamianos

As the season of warm weather and summer clothes comes to a close, you might think that the dress code doesn’t apply anymore, but you’d be wrong. Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s dress code continues to be a controversial topic, even when pants replace shorts and sweaters cover tank tops.

Sophomore Jungyun Kim wondered if J-DHS had a dress code. “When I was a freshman all of us thought that there was no dress code, but now that people are starting to get in trouble, it’s suspicious,” said Kim, referring to what she sees as an increased implementation of the code. Though English teacher Terri Eaton joked by asking the rhetorical question “do we even have a dress code?” there is a very straight forward dress code written in the school's code of conduct.  This dress code includes “no see-through, strapless or thin strapped, halter or backless garments, no exposed underwear, no short skirts or short shorts.” The rest of the regulations are located on page 64 in the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Student Handbook.

In J-DHS, the dress code issues arise when teachers or administrators tell female students that their clothing is “distracting to boys.”  However, is this the case? Sophomore David Pimentel said that he’s “not really (distracted) by what girls wear.” Pimentel continued saying that he doesn't think there are a lot of girls at J-DHS that dress inappropriately. “No one is really naked,” said Pimental. Junior Jake Greenway agreed; “I think it's really stupid how girls can't wear spaghetti straps and things like that.”  Mrs. Eaton had a slightly different opinion, and said that sometimes even she is distracted by what girls wear, so it must distract boys, too.

Still others think that the onus needs to be put on the boys, not blame the girls. “Instead of teaching the girls to not wear revealing clothing, they should teach guys to have some more self control,” says sophomore Marissa DiGennaro. Sophomore Sara Gow agrees; “it’s not (the girls) fault that (if) they’re distracted, it’s their own fault.”

Some have created a code of their own. Senior Owen Volk chooses to wear a suit to school every day, which all started when Volk was in eighth grade. “It was a bet at first but turned into something just like to do,” said Volk. Many students notice when he is not wearing his regular attire because its such a irregularity and stands out compaired to other students. Social Studies teacher Leo Brown wears a dress shirt and tie everyday, even when other teachers take the oppurtunity to dress down. For example, on Red Out days, which are the last Wednesday in each month, when teachers wear J-D Staff Cares t-shirts and donate a dollar to the charity of the month, Mr. Brown still wears his standard shirt and tie. What is his motivation to always wear such formal clothing? He believes, “you owe it to your employer” to always look your best.