New dress code coming to QHS
You can put away that dollar bill now, teachers. A streamlined version of the school’s dress code will enter into practice at the end of this month at Quincy High School.
The new version eliminates certain language of the older dress code that might lead to embarrassment to students, such as determining the length of the distance of a pair of shorts from the knee as equal to a dollar bill’s length.
“We don’t want any adults holding dollar bills onto kids,” said interim principal Marcus Pimpleton. Instead, the new code says shorts should come down to the fingertips of a student holding their arms along their sides.
Emphasis on “should.”
“It says, this is kind of a guide, like, ‘try to aim for this,’ but leave some discretion for kids who have unique body types,” Pimpleton said.
The older dress code’s rules had become hard to keep track of, Pimpleton said, its rules were cumbersome and its language showed a bias against female students.
“The way it was previously enforced was resulting in a loss of instructional time for a lot of female students,” Pimpleton said. “We wanted to make the dress code to line up more with the guidance given by the board, focusing on safety and learning, and ensuring we weren’t shaming female students around issues of body (image).”
For example, the fashion style of torn jeans has caused Pimpleton to watch staff members put duct tape on students’ pant legs.
“For a young lady to have someone come up to you with duct tape and taping up holes in your jeans,” Pimpleton said. “That could feel really demeaning.”
Research has shown, he said, that children in those situations tend to have higher stress levels, in addition to higher levels of cortisol in the brain.
The new dress code also puts more of the judgment in the eyes of the teacher. For instance, the old dress code forbade hats on campus.
“That had nothing to do with safety, that had nothing to do with learning,” Pimpleton said. The new code will allow each teacher to determine whether hats are OK.
Some things in the new dress code are the same as in the old one. Pajamas are still out, as are dresses with straps, or clothing with drug references or gang associations.
The new dress code will become effective in the second semester of this year (set to start in the last week of January and first week of February), Pimpleton said, and it places a special emphasis on the parents’ responsibility in encouraging modesty in dress.
“It does emphasize what’s appropriate in a school setting, without overly focusing attention on bodies,” he said. “It’s a very hard time for young women and young men, and we don’t want to be doing things that make the learning space feel uncomfortable to them.”
Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com