An in-depth look at the new dress standards


Samantha Bell, Editor

At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, students across the country brought outdated dress codes to their schools and demanded change and an update. Taylorsville High school is no different.

The school’s dress code received a lot of criticism last year when female students were targeted for what they wore, while their male counterparts were left to roam the halls wearing clothes that broke the dress code. 

After an article posted to my personal Instagram, titled “Taylorsville High School’s Sexist Dress Code” blew up among students, with over one thousand likes, hundreds of comments, and a petition made along with it, that received over one-thousand signatures. The dress code needed to be changed, and the issue was brought right to my doorstep. 

Although I never thought that this article would get that much attention, an opportunity for real change and much-needed updates was presented, and I would not pass it up. 

That article changed the course of my junior year. At the start of the year, the dress code was the talk of the school. Many students protested in their own ways, but often these only brought them trouble and not real change. 

It was nice to see students take things into their own hands and work to change something they felt passionate about. However, I knew real change would come from a collaboration with administrators and an actual new dress code. 

Principal Emily Liddell and I went to work addressing this issue. We started with an idea for what we wanted, taken from Skyridge High School’s Student Handbook, page 9. 

Skyridge High School had taken a completely gender-neutral approach, made everything objective and not subjective, and used a picture to give students an easy reference. 

I brought this to a meeting with Mrs. Liddell, along with the school administration. Everyone agreed that this was a good starting point. By using gender-neutral terminology we all had the hopes of removing sexism from the narrative, and allowing for all students to feel comfortable no matter their gender identity. We also wanted to make sure that we were keeping the dress code short and to the point, so thus the minimum clothing requirements were created. 

The minimum requirements state that; Clothing must cover areas from one armpit across to the other armpit, down to mid-thigh in length. Tops must be at least 2 inches across the shoulders and cover the abdomen. 

After a draft based onSkyridge High School’s requirements, I went to the community council of Taylorsville. It mainly consists of parents elected into the board, they decide the school calendar among other things. I presented the proposed dress code to gather more support from other places in our school community. The members agreed with the dress standards and congratulated me on my involvement in the school. 

After the community council, I worked closely with the school administration to create the perfect dress standards for Taylorsville. 

With a lot of back and forth about specifics we finally got a base outline of what we wanted. With that we sent out a survey to students, again we wanted to engage all of Taylorsville High’s community and at the center of that is the students. 

The survey gave varied responses, most kind and most agreed with what we stated.

We took the helpful feedback from students and made jargon and wording easy to understand for all of the students. The survey gathered over one thousand responses from students, it was amazing to see that kind of engagement from the school community. 

 The survey aired and we worked to perfect wording and format. We got something that all of the administration is happy with, and something we think will make students comfortable and happy. 

The process has been long and filled with ups and downs, backlash and praise. I am excited to see what students have to say about these changes, and have a positive effect on the school for years to come. 

A lot of work went into this process with a lot of help from all sorts of people and without the community, I have around me, this would have never been possible.