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Address The Dress Code

Most schools have and enforce a dress code. They all say similar things like, no short shorts, no crop tops, no sleeveless shirts, and nothing with depictions of alcohol, drugs, or violence. Recently, many high school students all over the country have spoken against the unfair dress codes in schools, and students at Rialto High are no different.

During the first week of the 2021-2022 school year, Rialto High School principal Dr. Sweeny, made an announcement during fifth period, reminding students of the dress code on campus. This sparked a negative reaction among students, especially female students. Many students think dress code promotes rape culture and shames women and girls for their bodies. It is known that the dress code is targeted towards girls more often than it is targeted towards boys. No crop tops, no short shorts, if you really think about it, it’s obvious these rules are in place for girls.

It seems as if dress codes are in place to stop boys from being distracted by how girls dress. “It just perpetuates rape culture,” said junior Eliana Guillory-Ayala. “We should be teaching guys not to sexualize girls.”

When asked about the dress code, junior Ximena Zepeda said, “It’s unnecessary, why can’t we wear crop tops or tank tops in the summer?” Junior Emmily Casas agrees, “It is sort of sexist and punishes girls for just trying to stay cool in the heat,” she says.


Physics teacher Mr. Julien Ansermet says, “I don't think the dress code is unfairly targeting anyone. The dress code's intent is to provide guidelines for what is and what is not appropriate to wear at a learning institution like Rialto High School. Those guidelines, in my opinion, don't single out anyone or make demands that certain students cannot meet.” He continues to say, “I think the dress code is important because as a society, we have many situations that have a ‘dress code.’ When attending a wedding, court date, interview, funeral, or job, there is often an unwritten dress code as to what is and is not appropriate. It's important for all to be aware of these situations, and I think our dress code helps to teach this to students.”

In response to the dress code, Instagram stories began popping up describing how unfair the dress code is and how there would be a protest against it. Students planned to have the majority of people break the dress code in rebellion of these rules. The post invited both girls and boys to wear a tank top or crop top to protest. There were multiple people who protested by dressing in pants with large holes or shirts that were quite short, but still not the majority, and not enough students participated to create an uproar.


Rialto High School is not the only high school in the Rialto Unified School District that has a problem with dress code. Junior Chim Ozonoh at Carter High School has gone to Instagram to express her distaste for the dress code at CHS. She made a post describing how sexist and even racist dress codes can be. Ozonoh even made a petition on chng.it that has received over 1580 signatures as of late September. A student at Rialto High School followed shortly after and started a petition on Chnge.it that has 320 signatures as of late September.

Dress code remains an issue even with these petitions and protests. Students recognize the unfairness of a dress code like the one we have and won’t stop voicing their concerns until it is changed.


13 comments

13 Comments


I completely agree with the article you wrote, dress code does mainly target girls. I do not understand why they won't allow girls to wear crop tops or shorts in hot weather, especially in California where the weather can reach up to the 100s. Our dress code is teaching boys to sexualize us for simply showing our legs or stomachs. In these past few weeks I have seen so many girls being sent to change for as little as a sliver of their stomach showing, but have not seen any boy be told to pull up their pants for their underwear showing or wearing a bad shirt. Also another problem would be every store now sells mostly crop tops because…

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The school dress code targets girls. If one were to look at the school dress code rules they would see it's directly targeted towards girls. This is shown by not allowing "short shorts", crop tops, ripped jeans, and no off the shoulder. The problem with that would be we live in California and most days are around ninety degrees, even in the winter. What are girls supposed to wear then, jeans and a long t-shirt. Another problem would be that every store nowadays only sells crop tops, shorts, and ripped jeans in the teen through young women sections. This leads to the question where should high school girls buy from?

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Khamiyah Anderson
Khamiyah Anderson
Oct 06, 2021

Mr. Ansermet makes a validate point in saying that the dress code is good for teaching students that there are dress codes for certain events. But, I believe the dress code does lean more toward what girls wear. Obviously, there are some pieces of clothing that are not appreciate for a school setting. But for the most part, ripped jeans and cropped tops are not a problem.

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Melanie Rom
Melanie Rom
Oct 06, 2021

The school's dress code truly makes me question what they are for, at some point is it really to make sure we "focus on school" or "keep it appropriate" or because of something else. While some of the dress code keeps people from wearing over the top revealing outfits most of it does not. How is someone showing part of their stomach or shoulders in the summer inappropriate. If someone's shoulders or stomach is distracting someone maybe reevaluate that problem on not the dress code but maybe that person.

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Valeria Contreras
Valeria Contreras
Oct 06, 2021

I agree with everything . Our dress code simply teaches boys to sexualize us for something as simple as showing out shoulders . We can no longer wear crop tops , shorts just because its distracting to boys .

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