New HC dress code provides clear guidelines for students

Caroline Costich, Editor

For the 2022-2023 school year, Henry Clay has created a new dress code. The previous dress code caused many issues between students, teachers, and admin due to it oftentimes being unclear or unenforced. With many students confused about the previous dress code or even unaware that there was a dress code in the first place, there is no denying that Henry Clay was long overdue for a new one to help create a safe and comfortable environment for students. The new dress code allows students to have clear guidelines and feel included.

In the last two years, the dress code has been extremely relaxed or non-existent. The main focus with covid had been masks, however, with this school year starting maskless, the focus has turned back to dress code. The new dress code uses language to hopefully make students feel more comfortable and included. Instead of assigning genders certain rules, the new code lays out one set of rules for all genders to follow. They also avoided using terms such as “wife beater” when referring to a commonly worn white tank top which is often supposed to be used as an undergarment, instead calling it “an a-line shirt”. Other similar terms were replaced with unoffending names. 

The language is not only inclusive and inoffensive but also clear. For many articles of clothing that were deemed inappropriate, next to them in parentheses was placed a clarification, that if a proper dress code item is worn underneath the items that were found not appropriate for school, it would be allowed. They also clearly list out terms that could potentially be unclear, such as clothing that restricts the view of one’s face or ears. Instead of leaving it in vague terms, the dress code elaborates by listing the items that are not acceptable such as hoods, ski masks, and sunglasses. Instead of just listing what is not allowed, there is also a list of what is acceptable to wear. This allows for students to be able to easily find what is appropriate to wear at school, instead of having to go through everything that isn’t appropriate. 

Unlike years past, the new dress code provides students with clear consequences for if they were to break the dress code. It is stated in the code, “Students will be given the opportunity to comply with the dress code. If they refuse, administrative action will follow.” This allows students the opportunity to quickly fix their clothing and return to class. The dress code also urges staff to consistently enforce the dress code. This will create a set of rules that is constant every day at school and create an appropriate environment for learning.