By Susannah Hutcheson, Regular ContributorOctober 15, 2015
image via mashable.com
Have you ever been in trouble for violating the dress code at school at some point or another? I know I have. I grew up in a school system where we wore uniforms, but once I was even fussed at for wearing mismatched socks (yes, mismatched socks).
However, there was only one time when I felt legitimately embarrassed about my dress code. In fifth grade, I was walking down the hall at my elementary school when a teacher snapped at me to pull up the bra strap that had slid down my arm past the sleeve of my t-shirt.
“No one needs to see that,” I remember her saying.
I was in fifth grade. Not only had I not been wearing a bra for that long, but it takes a while to figure out all of the mechanics. Even now, I have to readjust straps in the middle of the day that have gotten a little loose or seem too tight. I am comfortable enough in my own skin and my womanhood to know that’s a normal thing- and I fix it. However, in the crowded fifth-grade hallway, I was so embarrassed. Boys laughed, people giggled, and my face turned beet red.
The worst thing about it for me was just how confused I felt in that moment. Was it embarrassing that I was wearing a bra? I hadn’t thought so until then- but I certainly was very self-conscious about it every time I was in front of that teacher. That was ten years ago, and I still remember it so well.
Students at the Charleston County School of the Arts in North Charleston, SC are protesting the way their new dress code is enforced by wearing scarlet A’s on their clothes, an allusion to the book itself.
To enforce the new dress code, the school’s administration and teachers are to make the student leave and not come back until the issue is resolved. The dress code is not the issue- the issue is that teachers are calling out students in front of their peers and embarrassing them. Just like my little experience in fifth grade, there are always better ways to approach things.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, student Reese Fischer said, “the degradation of young women in the school system is a real, legitimate issue.”
“The dress code is important as it promotes a comfortable and professional learning environment," Fischer said on Instagram. "However, there is nothing comfortable or professional about being told you're 'asking for it' or 'selling yourself in the wrong way' or being told your body is 'gross.”
So, so true. What do you think, girls?
Have you ever been embarrassed by a dress code? How did you react? How can we work to end this issue? Tell us below!
Susannah is a Journalism major, passionate about social justice and Jesus Christ. She loves cold weather, triple-shot lattes, and macaroni and cheese. When she’s not writing papers or baking cookies, you can find her Googling random things on the Internet or watching large amounts of reality television. You can read her ramblings at ileftamessinthekitchen.wordpress.com, or look at pictures of her coffee on Instagram: @susannah.beth.
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