The Dress Code Dilemma


Angelina Rogers

A restroom at Gibbs High School during the dress code protests.

Dress code is a pressing issue at St. Pete High, leaving a sharp divide between those who support it and those who don’t. Several students have chosen to boycott this policy, by simply refusing to wear St. Pete-approved attire and sporting their own clothes instead. While this policy is largely based on the code of conduct for Pinellas County Schools, it still angers several students, and makes them hope for schoolwide change. Students who both oppose and promote the dress code have strong reasoning behind their choices.

Many students who oppose the school’s dress code policy acknowledge the inconsistencies that simply don’t make sense. Sofi Difilippo states that the dress code is “too structured about [the] type of shirt and pants”, meaning that it can be difficult to follow a dress code when it is too specific about the clothing articles it accepts. Sofi is just one example of many students who share her opinion on the difficulty of finding dress code appropriate clothing. Other students also remark how the school dress codes “inhibit female autonomy” and “take away our right to express our individuality”. These students recognize how dress codes remove our ability to wear clothing in order to express ourselves, and how we must conform to wearing the same few school or collared shirts. They also acknowledge the varying enforcement of dress code between male and female students, as the policy seems to target girls and their clothing items more often. While this policy is followed by several of these students mentioned, the support for the items they wear is not present. 

Other students at St. Pete High School have unbridled support for this policy. One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, remarks that “community is created when we all wear shirts supporting the school” and loves that it “shows off our school spirit” .By wearing shirts that showcase our school clubs, sports, and overall atmosphere, students can feel more connected to one another. Other students hold the concerns of bullying and “standing out” due to the clothing they wear. Picking out an outfit everyday can add unnecessary stress to people’s lives, as they have to worry if what they wear is “in style” enough to wear around their peers. By enforcing a dress code at St. Pete High, students no longer have a need to worry about their fashion choices and can feel a sense of association with those around them.

Whether it’s supported or not, dress code is a large part of St. Pete High’s school community. Students on both sides of the argument have compelling reasoning as to why the dress code should or should not exist. No matter the side individuals support, it is important to understand both opinions, in order to create a better functioning St. Pete. High.