The School Newspaper of Plano West High School

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Dress Code Petition

Ava O'Reilly, Staff Writer

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Students have taken action against the school dress code by creating an online petition for individuals to sign to protest the current restrictions listed by Plano Independent School District (PISD).

“Dress code is a freedom of expression and they are not letting us be ourselves,” senior Alexa Grow said.

Among the junior and senior classes, nearly 1,000 people have signed the petition protesting what students are and are not allowed to wear to school.

“I think I follow school dress code for the most part,” Grow said. “I may wear nike shorts and ripped jeans but I am not trying to impress anyone.”

The petition has allowed many students to express their opinions on the current policy, but some are worried of consequences for signing in the first place.

“I didn’t sign it because, I’m not going to lie, I was afraid the school would do something if I did,” Grow said. “But I think it is great people are standing up and they care enough to do something about it.”

Students did not want to risk punishment if the signatures were to somehow be revealed from the online petition at change.org.

“I put my initials but I was too scared to put my name,” senior Kamryn Rude said.

The petition went viral overnight through many forms of social media right before the 2017-18 school year began. Soon enough, students were organizing a peaceful protest by telling all students to wear ripped jeans on Aug. 28.

“All of a sudden they enforced dress code this year and no one expected that,” Rude said. “I personally don’t agree with the dress code, especially guys versus girls.”

The current restrictions for what students are not permitted to wear describe different forms of clothing that both genders have but can apply more to one than the other.

“I think the girls get called out way more than the guys do,” Rude said. “I don’t understand why anything we wear is considered distracting to the boys when I just want to wear clothes deemed in style today.”

Students have admitted to breaking dress code on occasion simply because they are not going out to buy an entire new wardrobe to fit the school’s expectations.

“I broke school dress code the first week but haven’t since because I don’t want to get in trouble,” Rude said. “I think my class time is more important than being pulled out for what I am wearing.”

Administrators around the school have heard about the petition.

“I understand how people want to express themselves,” Assistant Principal Michael Cruz said. “We are here for education and want students to dress for success.”

The school board sent out a survey during the summer through a “School Based Improvement Plan” for teachers and parents to discuss what should be fixed in the upcoming school year.

“We were laxed in dress code last year so we focused on that because the community surveys and teachers were saying we should work on that,” Cruz said. “ That’s why we made a video so that it would not be a surprise that dress code would be enforced this year.”

The school and district simply want to raise the standards of how students are presented by how they dress when attending school.

“We don’t enjoy this part and we don’t want to spend a lot of time on it because we want to focus on education,” Cruz said. “ Sometimes you get caught and sometimes you don’t but we have to do something if we see it.”

Teachers and administrators are pleased by the way students are going about voicing their opinion.

“We heard about the petition and thought it was very respectful to advocate in that way,” Cruz said. “We were very proud.”

The next step is to send the petition to Superintendent Brian Binggeli. The creator of the petition will then have to discuss the purpose and what they hope to change in front of the PISD school board.

“The petition is a great way to start a change,” Cruz said. “We hear them.”

 

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The School Newspaper of Plano West High School
Dress Code Petition