Why Do Schools Have Dress Codes?

Schools require dress codes to promote uniformity of student dress, minimize distraction, promote discipline and prevent inappropriate or vulgar items of clothing from becoming a distraction for students. While the idea of a dress code is intended to be beneficial, some people argue that it stifles personal freedom and encourages shaming of female students.

Schools encourage students to dress in a manner that is considered to be conducive to learning, which means that the clothes should not cause a distraction for other students. This includes articles of clothing that are considered to be too revealing or that display profanity or gang-related images.

Some people argue that dress codes can be used as a method of shaming females, particularly since they have more strict guidelines on clothing length, style and fit than male students do. Also, girls are more frequently singled out for their clothing choices, particularly if the school deems the clothing to be distracting or sexually revealing.

Some schools eschew general dress codes in favor of school uniforms. This promotes a uniformity of dress and discipline that lessens the likelihood that students may commit a dress-code violation, since their clothing choice has been determined by the school and not the student or parents.