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Readers' Responses: Opinions about Dress Codes (2)

Speaking of Uniforms (Issue 21) and Dress codes (Issue 1) discuss dress Codes and uniforms. Readers sent the comments below.


Japanese students wearing school uniforms

What's your
opinion of
dress codes?

Send it to us.


I'm against uniforms because schools should be more worried about school violence and how to keep students safe from violence. They should not be worried about what students wear!

Corinne, Illinois, U.S.

I think that it's pretty dumb that you have to wear the same clothes as everybody else in your school. You should be able to have your own style. It can also get hot in the summer wearing wool pants.

Ryan, Canada

In my opinion, uniforms are ridiculous and outrageous! I think that it is a waste of time, money, and effort. We (students) are gonna wear what we wanna wear no matter if they say we can't. If we (students) should wear uniforms I think that the teachers, staff, and anyone who enforces uniforms should also wear them.

As individuals living in a free country we should be allowed to express ourselves, as long as it is decent, through the clothes we wear or how we do our hair. The school boards, who are doing this, are taking away that right.

Instead of punishing all students who do not break the dress code, by making them wear a uniform, make the student who breaks it wear a uniform. By making us wear a uniform you are not only taking away our freedom of expression, but also our rights as individuals to live in a free country and express ourselves through how we act, dress, talk, and do our hair.

I have been to two private schools who have uniforms and two public schools that do not have uniforms. The environments of the schools are very different. Public school is more pleasant and private school is awful. That is what I have learned from my experiences.

Also they think that uniforms would cut down on the gang activity, drug usage, and academics. Think again people. I mean, come on, please you have got to be out of your mind to think that will ever change any of that!! That has never changed the fact that people are in gangs, doing drugs, or bringing academics up. Students still did it anyway.

Nancy Sugarick (Jr.), U.S.

Last year I got suspended for wearing a tank top to that appears on my permanent record...and I didn't even do anything wrong! why are schools making the biggest issue of NOTHING!? I don't get it!?

Veronica, U.S.

I think that uniforms are a good idea. After all it has been proved that it reduces violence and makes students feel better about themselves. Because every one will be dressed in generally the same thing you will know that your friends are picking you because of you not because of your clothes.

Christina, U.S.

I think the uniform is stupid because the board of education said it cut down on fight and gang activity but don't it? no it a boy in the eighth grade they smoke and he wear uniform every day. what you have to say about they.

Aaron Maynard, U.S.A.

I am outraged at the completely factious notion that at a PUBLIC school, we are restricted to what we can wear. It disgusts me that in the year 2001, adolescents still have inferior rights to adults. Also, every dress code is extremely sexist with more rules for the females than males. How could it possibly make a better learning environment, and the students are constantly worried of have their "extremely provocative" shoulders showing.

Alice, U.S.

People wear whatever clothes they want and how they want to wear them because that's how they feel comfortable. But then their ae these people who like copying others therefore conforming to social expectations which is stupid and shouldn't be done.

Cat, Australia

As a 13 year old girl, I think that people should be able to wear whatever they want. I mean, what is wrong with tank tops and tube tops? and who cares if your skin shows? It's not against the law and it's only clothes, so what's the big deal? At my school we just got a dress code this year, so now I can't wear any of my new shirts because of the stupid dress code!

Stephanie, Canada

How about anything goes? Bikini, underwear or nothing at all? The reason we have dress codes is that certain things are a distraction to learning. some may have forgotten, but the actual #1 reason for school is education. When many teens get out in the real world, there will be dress codes in almost every type of job. Some of you may think that offensive language on t-shirts is ok too. (it' s amazing how that's ok-until you are the one offended). One day you may have kids and your opinions will change.

Randy, U.S.

think that these dress codes are stupid! Why can't we express what clothes we want in class? When we are all older and make decisions on our own, we are not going to wear uniforms! WE should not have to limit what we wear! It should be like freedom of speech, we should be able to wear what ever we like!! Peace out.
Mitchell, U.S.

I did a debate on school dress codes and guess who won? US, the against side..... the other side did not win because there is absolutely NO logical reason why there should be a dress code for school.

Natalie Tan, Canada

I go to a public school and just the other day I decided to wear a short skirt and of course the principals made me change my skirt into my gym pants or else you have to wear SCHOOL CLOTHES....AHHHHHH!! I personally think we should be able to wear what we want because as the adults say wear your feelings but be proper not slutty.

Kay Lee, U.S.

I go to a public school and one of the reasons that I go there is because we could wear basically anything that we want...and when I found out that we couldn't wear tank tops I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS RIDICULOUS!!! I can understand not being able to where alcohol or tobacco related clothes but if I like it I'll wear it and that really makes me mad that I cant wear all of my clothes that I have...everybody says public schools don't have a dress code but yet they do I don't get it...???

Cydney, U.S.

We don't need dress codes in our school. We are getting them next year and I don't understand why they are doing it. Our school is just fine without dress codes.

Adam Hoffer, U.S.

I personally think the school dress codes are dumb. If the schools go to uniforms eventually, the colors of the uniforms will be gang colors and then they'll have to changes it again. I think it is just on ongoing process that will change or go away.

Then the school boards say that the way students dress is a distraction in class. I think it is a distraction only if the student who is looking is letting it become a distraction to themselves. I think the school boards try to go past their limits of telling us (students) what to do because they think we don't know our student rights.

If my school were to go to school uniforms, I would make a petition to where the teachers would have to go buy and wear everything the students would have to wear, and if they didn't do so, they would get the same disciplinary action taken.

Weleta, U.S.

I think that having a school dress code is absolutely absurd and unconstitutional! Last year at my school they tried to tell us what we could wear and what we couldn't. Well the students revolted, kind of like a strike, and our principal heard us and reasoned with us. No school dress codes!

Nicole Khoury, U.S.

As one who graduated from an American high school just a few years ago, I think that school uniforms are a good idea for schools and could be well used in the U.S. I feel that the following benefits of school uniforms more than outweigh any downsides they may have:

  1. School uniforms can be worn ore often than unique clothes from stores, thus reducing cost of wardrobe for students. This can be helpful to parents and to children of poorer families. Furthermore, it makes sense to cut down costs of clothes for children and teenagers who are constantly changing sizes.

  2. Uniforms would create a better atmosphere for discipline, learning, and respect for the school. Currently students often dress a certain way simply to shock others, which distracts from the purpose of school learning.

  3. Uniforms could create a better union of all students and would reduce the influence and exposure of cliques and gangs.

  4. Finally, school uniforms could teach children at an early age that it is necessary to surrender some personal freedom and expression for the good of the overall society. Americans are simply too accustomed to feeling that they have the right to do or say whatever they please in public situations, regardless of how annoying or offensive such actions might be to others.

Richard Beddingfield, U.S.

I think dress codes are a waste of time! What good do they do? I mean everyone says we should be able to express our feelings, right? Well what are they doing? Trying to take our rights? HELLO? They are taking our rights as individuals. As long as we cover up the important parts of our body I see no problem.

What is wrong with expressing your feelings in the way you dress? The way you wear your hair? I mean this is crazy the way people are trying to say well you can't wear this or you can't wear that. I am tired of that and I think I am talking for everyone. Well that is my opinion anyway for the people disagreeing with me right now I think you are making us (students) unexpressable! Thank you,

Erika, U.S.

I came across with a very different view point on an issue of dress code. Japanese students usually have rather strict dress codes. Some of them seem stupid to us, for example, girl's skirt has to cover her knees, any hair goes under her (his?) shoulder has to be tied, boy's uniform has to be buttoned up all way to his neck, no hair dying is permitted, etc. I can see why everyone struggles with this kind of dress code, and some make efforts to break these rules. Yes, those are stupid!! However, ok, pay attention on what I am going to say now........ Teachers make those rules that students try hard to break anyway, because they know if students concentrate on breaking those stupid rules, they won't dress in an extremely unappropriate way in school. Is that right?

Shoko, Japan

Hi! I am 13 I hate all forms of dress codes!! no offense to any one. I mean good luck at finding a decent t-shirt and shorts..!!

Bailey, U.S.

I think that elementary school students dressing uniforms is very cute, junior high school students is a little bit stupid, and senior high school students will be a little bit elegant. The uniforms of senior high school students in Taiwan also represent the reputations of their school. When some singers want some students in their MTVs, they will choose the most famous girls high school students. Those girls dress in green shirts and black skirts. Although their uniforms looks like the turtle, people will quickly distinguish where those students are from. Therefore, the uniform really means something to senior school students in Taiwan. However, as for me, I won't choose a school to study just because its uniform. To get knowledge is more important.

Rudy Chen, Taiwan

My school doesn't have a dress code. I wear belly shirts, tube tops, short shorts, and halter tops and have never got in trouble. Schools shouldn't be able to take away a person's freedom of speech, which many schools are unfortunately doing.

Sasha, U.S.

Hello there! My opinion as a high school student who is dealing with an issue of having a dress code is that it is the dumbest thing the education board has come up with.

Quishana, U.S.

I believe that school dress codes are very very stupid and they will stop a lot of the violent actions and they will do a lot but they are stupid.

Richard, U.S.

To me, school uniforms are stupid. In my school we have no uniforms, but we are very restricted to what we may wear. Dress codes are usually associated with gangs. Not every thing has to do with gangs. It makes me sick as an African American, 15 year old young woman, that men are still trying to take us down. It is not our fault that we have sexuality,

Amber Howard, U.S.

I think school dress codes can be a good thing, however they should be kept fair. Example: One day at school I overheard one of my teachers send a girl to the office, just because when she raised her hand to answer a question in class, her stomach showed. What is ironic, the very next day, I wore my cheerleading uniform to school (for a pep rally during the day). My uniform is a really short skirt, with a sleeveless top that shows my stomach......the same teacher said nothing to me, nor did I get sent down to the office. Isn't that unfair?

Krystine, U.S.

am really against the dress codes because we should have a freedom in what we wear and what we believe! What we wear shows what we believe in. Not just what we think is cool! That is what I think!!

Alison, U.S.

I do not totally agree with making students wear uniforms, but some kind of dress code should be required in schools. Teenage girls and boys dress way too "sexy" for their age. Girls walk around in tube tops and short shorts and think they love the attention their bodies get when they are stared at. Guys look at that as an invitation and it portrays that girls do not respect their bodies as they should. I believe it also shows that girls that dress like that have a low self-esteem. All in all I believe schools should make dress codes that prohibit clothes that reveal skin that is not needed to see (ex. stomachs, backs, full showing of legs, low neck lines).

Jason, U.S.

At my school, I am somewhat known as the dress code queen. It seems that these days I am the only that would get yelled at for having a portion of my stomach sticking out or even showing my shoulders. I was locked in a room by myself because I had on a tank top and I once got suspended because I was walking with a friend whose stomach was showing. I think that school dress codes are so-o ridiculous and teachers take them way too far. I thought that people were allowed to express themselves freely and one good way to do that is through clothing and people are trying to take that right away from us.

Kristy, U.S.

I think schools should have a much lesser strict dress code.

Allen Isho, Assyrian

I think it is necessary for high school students to wear uniforms in Taiwan. We have big pressure on studying. If students could wear any style of clothes to school, it takes time to decide what to wear. As a result, students will have less time to study. They will think or worry about what to wear tomorrow!! So, I think it is still not the right time for Taiwan high school students to wear their own clothes to school everyday.

Emily, Taiwan

Something about dress code In my opinion, we need uniform dress sometimes but not all the time. We have some special occasions such as Graduation ceremony or the National day. In these cases, we should dress in uniform. On the other hand, not all the time in our life is so serious. Usually, people have their own hobbies on clothing. Why must we deprive people of the right of choosing dress? If everyone dress in uniform, I think our living would be boring. Life is so colorful, let's enjoy ourselves.

Pansy, Darwin, Australia

I live in a small country-bumkin town in Texas. Even though I go to a public school, there are some very strict dress codes. For example, everyone has to have their shirts tucked in, all the boys have to be clean shaven and their hair neatly cut. The girls' shorts have to be finger tips length and we can't even wear tank tops. I think that while some of our dress codes are good, most of them are ridiculous. So, basically what our school staff is saying is that they want all the students to look like them which isn't very good cause a lot of teachers dress like they're going to a funeral.

Rebecca Martinez, Texas, U.S.

We believe students should be able to express themselves freely which includes clothing, piercing, hair styles, make up, etc. People shouldn't be offended by other people's form of expression because everybody has a right to be their own person and unique. If the schools are bothered by our clothes, they should be the ones buying our clothes. Sincerely,

Kori, Angellica, and Vivian, California, U.S.

I agree with dress codes because using uniforms is economical and practical. You don't need to think about what to wear every day; for example, which dress or shoes that you will wear. However clothes don't make the difference; the difference is who you are.

Vera Melendez, El Salvador

I believe that dress codes are ridiculous. There is no way that you can prove that what you wear makes you act differently.

Tyrone, U.S.A.

First, I am totally against uniforms!!!! 'cause in Taiwan , we have to wear uniforms from elementary school to high school even college!! so I totally had to wear uniform everyday for 14 years!!!!!! and finally I'm graduated now, and I'm free to wear whatever I want...but it seems not easy .... I have to think about what I'll wear tomorrow, and have to try and try , it's too bother me... I have to consider about if this T-shirt can suit this pants or shoes....... or , I have to buy new clothes every time when I'm shopping. It's painful 'cause I have to spend a lot of money when I go to Valley Fair, so now I prefer uniforms....... you can just wear them everyday and don't need to think about's good , isn't it ?!!!?!  ^-^

Irene Hsu, Taiwan

I think school uniforms are wonderful for America. I feel safer when my daughter goes to school because no one can judge her by the clothes she wears.

Heather, Italy

The fads this year are bell bottoms, flared jeans, and knee knockers, but not hip huggers yet!

Leigh Anne Walls, U.S.

I work in a public school that is presently considering a dress code. I believe any dress promoting violence (depict ions of weapons, etc.) or illicit behavior (drugs) or dress that infringes on the civil rights of others (racist/sexist) should be banned. However, I believe strongly that students should be able to express themselves any way they want.

Most teens dress to feel good about themselves or to get attention. If we take that away they will satisfy those needs elsewhere maybe with choices far worse than wearing spiked hair or tank tops. I also believe freedom of expression promotes interpersonal growth and understanding. Respect the students rights to find out where they fit in.

Steve Bruce, School Psychologist, U.S.A.

I went to a Catholic school when I was younger and I hated it. (The Dress Code) I was just another face. Now I go to a public school and I couldn't be happier! I love being noticed and complimented. I am a hyper person and I NEED to show it. I go to a good school. Girls don't over do it. They don't wear spaghetti straps or anything like that. We are an under controlled school.

Sarah G., Lakewood, Colorado, U.S.

When I was in high school the sight of a girl's tummy and belly-button completely distracted me from the lesson. I think bare-midriffs should be banned. When are young girls going to learn that their navels are considered by some men to be very appealing?

Chad, U.S.

I am doing a report of school about dress codes in public school and I strongly disagree with it. I'm 15 years old and I think dress codes or uniforms take away the freedom of speech. What you wear is part of your personality. Sometime clothes speak louder then words. If the school takes away our freedom of choice, what's next? Why should you want to look like everyone else? Everyone has their own style. When you take that away that is like saying we are not important to our society. If we are important, we should be able to have our choice in what we wear. If school clothes are clean, I don't think we should be pushy about dress codes. Well, thank-you for taking time to read my opinions about dress codes.

Amber Corbet, U.S.

My topic pertains to Dress Codes and the Freedom of Expression. I have gone to a Catholic school all of my life and see no reason why people are so enraged with having a school dress code. It is good for one, because you don't have to worry about what you are going to wear the next morning. Also, there is so much about the fact that it would limit a person's ability to express themselves. I will tell you I have worn a uniform and it has NOT prevented me from expressing myself. People accept you for who you are and you can express yourself without wearing a particular type of clothing. I support a school dress code. Don't worry students. It won't prevent you from expressing yourself.

Kim Ark, Tennessee, U.S.

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