• Grace Kleppe and Inez Allard

SLHS' Early 2000's Dress Code Being Revisited

Twenty-one years ago, Spring Lake Public School’s dress code was written. On September 8, 2021, Mr. Armey published it on Schoology and it created an uproar, causing much frustration throughout the student body: many students protested the dress code and even made a petition. The students' outcry in support for changing the very vague dress code was so loud that even the administrators could hear it.

Being told what you can wear is something that no person, let alone a student, wants to hear. After all, one of the privileges of a public education is self-expression. The outrage from the student body the day the dress code was reposted was immediate.

Anyone and everyone in the school was talking about it, especially when some of the rules on the dress code seemed to focus more on the clothing women wear: “...cutoff shirts, beach wear, tank tops (two inches in width on shoulders), short clothing, short shorts (fingertip length with arms fully extended), clothing full of holes, etc.” While young women are not specifically mentioned, girls experience the challenges of buying clothing that fits within the boundaries while still staying in fashion. Young men, on the other hand, have it much easier when buying into the 20-year-old dress code.

When asking the student body about the dress code, many had the same answer. Freshman Giada Garzelloni remarked her thoughts on the dress code: “It kinda sucks. The stuff I wore before wouldn’t be allowed now.”

The same day the dress code was reposted, student Isabella Madden showed great frustration; she even confronted Mr. Armey about her concern on why boys who broke the dress code weren’t sent home. This caused her to post a photo on Snapchat stating, “Crop Top Thursday” to energize the student body to break dress code, understanding that if many participated, it could create change. The post exploded, getting shared by many. Additionally, one young man jumped on board for the protest and the need to change. Tanner Ketner, a senior, created a petition, highlighting that the dress code “needs to be dismissed and abolished.” Ketner’s change.org petition garnered over 800 signaturs, bolstering the students’ abilities to create change.

The next day, while students weren’t sure the outcome from the protest would follow through, the students’ participation was greater than expected. Students were seen wearing crop tops, jeans with holes, tank tops, short shorts, etc. Even a great number of male participation occurred. Although some consequences were handed out, the student body made a statement, great enough, that created change from the administration, which came in a message from Mr. Armey the day after asking for a team of students to review the dress code.

Within the next week of the initial posting, Mr. Armey sent out a Schoology post asking for two people from each grade for an advisory board. The students were chosen anonymously and they formed the board. When asking Mr. Armey about what he thought about all this and if he thought change could come from this board, he said this: “I’m surprised that it escalated to this negative connotation,” and that he was “all for reviewing.” There is yet to be word about a change in the dress code, but the board has met and students are looking forward to a possible change.

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