Dress code; school law or administration opinion?

Taylor Hogan (left) and Kaylee Baca (right) wearing shorts that administrators allow, but the handbook does not.

Pueblo West High School’s motto is, “Respect is a way of life,” so what does our dress code have to do with respect?

The handbook states that students are encouraged to express themselves; some students feel their clothes are the best representation of who they are. Generally students are encouraged to be themselves, however only as long as it is not a disruption or distraction. Administrators have the power to decide whether or not a student’s clothing is inappropriate or distracting. Such inappropriateness and distractions include showing too much skin, vulgar graphics, profanity, and pajamas. Students may disagree with these rules, but there are consequences to those who violate them regardless.

There is a lot of confusion about the dress code because the handbook  states “modifications can be made to the dress code. This means that there are rules but administrators can also give their opinions and make suggestions.

For example,  junior Addison Puffer said, “I was wearing shorts and Gomez told me they were inappropriate, but when I asked Marcus if they were inappropriate he said, ‘No they’re fine.'” This incident reveals that the administrators may not always agree with each other as to what violates the dress code.

These differences tend to confuse the students, resulting in unintentionally breaking these rules. The administration says, “If you’re not sure if an article of clothing is appropriate, then it’s probably best not to wear it. It’s the easiest way to stay out of trouble.”

Dress-coding is an ongoing problem at Pueblo West High School, and will continually have to be dealt with.