Insides and Outsides of Dress Code

Madeline Sanstrum, Staff Writer

One of the touchiest subjects to approach within school is the dress code, and it can be easy for any student to think the staff is not doing a good job regulating it. For example, a few points within the student handbook here at Centennial is that clothes can’t have any “direct or implicit sexual references;” beanies, stocking caps, and other head coverings are prohibited unless it is for a religious purpose; “wallet chains, spiked metal jewelry or accessories, and head wear will be regulated by the school administration;” and that sagging is not allowed (let alone wanted).

There are quite a bit of dress code violations that seems to slip in and go unnoticed, such as a provocative shirt worn by a male or a girl wearing a pair of shorts that are too short. The reverse would be a guy sagging or a girl with a dress or shirt that’s a bit on the revealing side. How it gets taken care of is a staff member or student reports it to the office or another staff member. The office then calls up the student where they are dealt with by either Greg Melvin, the Dean of Students, or secretary Shelley Johnson, depending on the situation.

The thing to keep in mind, however, is that the last point in the handbook states how the “dress code is subject to change at any time based on changing styles and trends.” This means that the staff has to keep up with fashion trends for all students, and police officers will give useful tips on growing or new gang trends as well.

“The style right now for high school girls are shorts,” says Melvin. “You have a lot of kids wearing things in style but not in dress code.”

So far I’ve just written down some of the rules and procedures that the staff follows, but what about the situations dress code violation might be found in? Apart from clever students, teachers are trained to have strong eye contact with the person they are speaking with and thus not paying attention to what the student is wearing. Plus, timing and circumstance (i.e. a well behaved class versus a misbehaving class) also holds a strong determinant factor for if they should send a student to the office.

“It can be an uncomfortable thing to approach for any staff member,” said teacher Rob Havrilla. “You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and you don’t want to say anything that could be taken as inappropriate.”

In the end, it’s understandable why there may be stray dress code violations running around the school. With the help of students also catching onto the trends, however, the two groups make it easier to spot the problem and put a hold on it.