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Dress code at South disrupts learning process

Kai Tibbitts ’24

Envision this: You’re a female student at South walking to your sixth hour with an important lecture today. Glancing up at one of the digital clocks in the hallway, you notice you have thirty seconds left before the bell rings, so you pick up the pace a little.

You’re almost to class when an administration member stops and informs you that the bottom of your t-shirt is not meeting the the top of your jeans. “It’s literally less than an inch of skin,” you mumble under your breath as you look down at your shirt, careful not to be loud enough for anyone to hear. The bell rings and you sigh.

The member of administration pulls you into their office and hands you a bulky t-shirt that is sure to conceal your figure. You want so badly to scream, “This is so stupid! Do you really think it’s acceptable for me to miss class for this?” but all you can do is mutter the words, “I’m sorry.” Moving quickly to your sixth hour, everyone looks at you confused as to why your outfit looks so ridiculous. You can’t help but wonder if anything like this happens to men.

I understand that rules surrounding inappropriate and offensive clothing are in place for a reason; this is not what I have a bone to pick with. My problem is with rules within the dress code that disproportionately affect young women at South. I have witnessed, several times, men at South who don’t button a single hole on their button-up shirt, leaving the entirety of their mid-drift and chest exposed. Yet they wore similar outfits multiple times throughout the year and were not penalized.

Yet, I hear AT LEAST once a week a story of a girl who wore straps too thin, a shirt cut too low at the top, or too high at the bottom. The rule in the student handbook states, “Students are expected to wear clothing that adequately covers the chest, back and mid-section”. What they actually mean by “students”, is “female students”, right? I find the enforcement of this rule to be highly discriminatory.

I cannot think of a single way in which too much of a girl’s shoulders or mid-drift could “interfere with and/or disrupt the educational process.” Unless what the handbook is implying is that girls should cover up so that boys aren’t distracted, which would be entirely sexist and infuriating. What is actually interfering with and disrupting the educational process is the dress code itself.

School is a place to learn. That’s the bottom line. We are all here to receive an education, and some of us, to prepare for college. The fact that the learning process here at the South is so often disrupted for instances of minor dress code violations is very counterproductive. The irony in the statement in the school handbook that reads “The Grosse Pointe Public Schools dress code allows for comfort, individuality and choice as long as such clothing and manner of dress does not interfere with and/or disrupt the educational process,” is shocking.

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About the Contributors
Grace Campbell '25
Grace Campbell '25, Web Editor
Cat lover, track runner, journalistic mastermind: Grace Campbell ’25 can do it all. In her second year on staff, the web editor is excited to bring her fierce opinions and her admiration of cats to the Tower classroom. Campbell is most looking forward to writing opinion pieces for the paper to speak out for the issues she is passionate about. “Tower lets me share my voice on popular issues,” Campbell said. “Also, I’m able to give a voice to my peers about issues that they’re concerned about.” Look out for a lot of thought-provoking opinion pieces by her this year. Her love for writing is shared with her love for cats. Campbell has a black cat named Harriet who she loves dearly. She also accessorizes herself with cat-themed socks. “My biggest goal this year is to help new staffers transition to the seemingly hectic Tower environment,” Campbell said. “I want to make them feel at home and part of the Tower family.”
Kai Tibbitts ’24
Kai Tibbitts ’24, Page Editor
Kai Tibbitts is one of the brightest people in Tower. She's very outgoing and incredibly friendly to talk to, as well as being involved in South's Orchestra and Pointe Players. Her favorite part of Tower is being involved with everybody, but her main passion lies in designing art. "I just really like designing stuff, and I really enjoy being in a class dedicated to design. I'm involved in plays as one of the assistant stage managers, and I also work with art, designing props," said Kai. "I'm a perfectionist when it comes to things I'm passionate about." Kai loves her position on Tower as a page editor, as it allows her to communicate with others to improve her work. Outside of Tower, you can find her in Orchestra, with Pointe Players or hanging out with friends.

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