Student reps speak up about dress code at board meeting


Evelyn Esek

The dress code has been a topic of conversation since a September protest.

Three student representatives spoke about dress code concerns at the school board meeting on Wednesday. 

Several board directors said they were receptive to hearing more about the dress code issue and praised the students for speaking their thoughts about both the dress code and the Sept. 16 hallway protest about it.

Senior Taslima Chapagai said the dress code is out of step with the fashions available to teens. 

“Speaking from my own experience as a teenage girl, the choices available at stores do not align with a restricted dress code policy,” Chapagai said. “It is difficult to stay within the boundaries as alternatives are few and far between.”

She asked the board to create a committee to look into revising the dress code.

“This system that is being enforced is out of touch with the times,” Chapagai said.

Sophomore Athena Chen said the issue goes beyond Baldwin.

“I believe that there is a large over-sexualization of the female body in modern society,” Chen said. “The negative impacts of a strict dress code are clear and must be addressed. It is difficult to follow such standards when societal pressure and trends push in the opposite direction.”

Chen said she hopes that changes will be made in the dress code.

“Things are different now and as someone who wears feminine clothing, I would like for this change to be considered when reviewing or changing the dress code policy,” she said.

Chen also voiced her disapproval of the cursing used by some students at the Sept. 16 protest in the hallway outside the main office.

“I applaud the student body for pushing for a change, but I am upset by their behavior. This negative way is not what I want us the student body to be seen as,” she said.

Sophomore Kelson Kleinhampl said he believes that female students have faced stricter enforcement of the dress code recently.

“As a guy, I cannot speak with much experience, but I can speak up for those who were affected,” he said. 

He also applauded Principal Shaun Tomaszewski for being willing to hear student concerns.

“I think we should take a moment to appreciate the staff, especially Mr. T, for giving students a platform to stand up for what they believe is right.”

Several school board directors said they were open to further discussion on the issue.

“You will be heard. I can’t guarantee the answer, but I can say you will be heard,” board director Robert Achtzehn said.

Board President Pete Giglione said he understands how important the dress code is to students.

“I have a daughter in high school, so I’ve heard plenty about it,” Giglione said. “We’ll keep our ears open and are certainly happy to engage in further discussion on it.”