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Girls Should Be Able to Wear What They Want to School

By Sakeena Ma

I believe that girls should be able to wear what they want without being shamed into thinking there is something wrong with their bodies. I remember a time when a girl in my science class wore denim shorts to school. The dress code of this school stated that shorts had to be about a foot long from the hips, and her shorts were shorter.  The sun was blazing through the window on this hot June day when I heard a teacher call her name. “Jillian!” The teacher took her out into the hall and she didn’t come back for the rest of the period. At lunch, I saw her wearing loose, baggy pants that were clearly much too big on her. But moreover, I saw her tears glistening in her eyes, waiting to spill out at any moment.  She was visibly breathing hard. I heard the other student’s indiscreet whispering, and I saw how her body shrank in anxiety and fear. She kept her head down, overwhelmed with shame and terror. This stirred my curiosity to research more about this absurd issue.  How many other schools had dress codes that limited what girls could wear? I learned that, nationwide, 53 percent of public schools enforced a strict dress code during the 2015-16 school year. Medlyn Gabriel Miller said, “School girls are not distractions, they are students so teach them something other than misogyny.” In other words, schools should not teach girls to limit their bodies by shaming them with strict dress codes.

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