By Page Picker and Paola De La Cerda-Flores
The first day of school students walked into Umatilla High School dressed in their best first-day outfits. Little did they know, some of them were wearing clothes that school rules would dictate would be only-one-day-ever outfits.
The trend today is jeans with fashionable rips and tears. The teachers don’t get it, back in their day once jeans got holes in them they were only for work. The students with jeans ripped from the knees to the thighs learned on the first day they were dressed outside of new regulations.
Students were upset.
“I think it is dumb and they need to calm down, jeans are expensive and I’m not just, not going to wear them,” Sophomore Marisa Aguiar said.
The new clothes-Sheriff in Umatilla High School is Mrs. April Dirksen, the first-year Dean of Students. It is part of her job to police what students wear. Mrs. Dirksen deputizes the staff to help. Mrs. Dirksen said she wants keep students dressed in a way that isn’t distracting to the school learning environment.
“The dress code was created with a group of staff members, students and administrators that came up with what would be acceptable for High School students to wear,” Mrs.Dirksen said
Mrs. Dirksen, herself, admits she wore jeans on the first Friday of school that broke the dress code. She suggested a compromise to help students with the ripped-jean dilemma.
“There aren’t a lot of jeans that are ripped or torn below the knee, afterwards staff members and administrators got together and decided that [students] could wear jeans that are ripped above the knee,” Mrs. Dirksen said. “But they just can’t be showing skin, students will have to wear tights or something to cover up the rips or tears.”
A common student refrain is that overall, the rule in unbalanced.
“I see some girls getting in trouble but others don’t,” Aguiar said. “Also I think you should be able to wear tank tops but no spaghetti straps, they over exaggerate.”
UHS sophomore Jasmine Orozco explained her frustration is also with the imbalance between rules for the boys and girls in the school.
“If teachers think it is very inappropriate to wear ripped clothing I think they’re just being sexist,” Orozco said. “They say that there are a lot more rules for girls than there are for guys. I think girls should be able to wear the same stuff [as guys].”
Some students do think the dress code is fair enough because others don’t know the limit on how to dress so without the dress code they could be wearing whatever they want. For Mrs. Dirksen and the staff it comes down to how clothing impacts the learning environment.
“Bare skin for some people is difficult, it is distracting for them, and because of that, it is important for our bodies to be covered up,” Dirksen said.