Image: Via the National Broadcast Corporation NBC (originally) and Wikia
Editor’s Note: As always, the Jeffersonian eagerly encourages the exchange of ideas on subjects of importance. The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Jefferson Middle School, its Administration or the Jeffersonian staff. Enjoy!
There has been a lot of talk about dress code issues here on the Jeffersonian blog. Some people think “the Dress Code ‘Movement’ needs to stop,” while others feel that it deserves to be discussed. The recent conversation sparked after listening to comments made during the Assembly held on January 6th. In said Assembly, the Dean of Students, Ms. Torres, mentioned that we should be aware of our clothing and make sure it is 100% school appropriate.
First of all, I personally don’t believe the Dress Code Movement (yes, Movement) needs to be stopped. If it’s a topic that at least one person feels strongly about, then it’s a topic that should be discussed. Obviously, many students at JMS feel the dress code is outdated and call for some adjustments. Saying “the dress code will never change,” is NOT an excuse to stop a movement, even if that movement is a small one. If you never try, then there’s a 0% chance you’ll succeed. (special thanks to Ms.Kinney for teaching us that lesson.) If you want to stand up for what you believe in, then do it and make sure your doing it for the right reasons.
Now, as for what was said at the assembly, I don’t think Ms.Torres was trying to prevent anyone from expressing themselves through their clothing. She was simply reminding us that there is a dress code and it needs to be followed. If you don’t think that the dress code is fair, then bring it up to someone who has the power to change it. Don’t disobey the current one to make a point, because, trust me, it won’t work in your favor. The message from Ms. Torres wasn’t to judge yourself, as in point out your flaws. Her message was to judge what you are wearing, so it corresponds with the dress code. Also, I would like to point out that this Assembly was supposed to be somewhat of a pep talk to the students of JMS. Therefore, more of a message of encouragement, rather than a vicious attack on our morals. What was said at the Assembly wasn’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
(The following are actual definitions, according to Merriam-Webster, of commonly misunderstood terms by middle schoolers.) THE MORE YOU KNOW…
Feminism: The advocacy of women’s social, political, and economical rights, especially in regards to the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
Humanism: A system of values and beliefs that is based on the idea that people are basically good and problems can be resolved using reason instead of religion.
Egalitarianism: A belief in human equality, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
All in all, the issues with the dress code are very important to people and should be discussed, but only for the right reasons. My advice for anyone who is trying to change the rules and/or thoughts of others is to pick your battles wisely, because not every argument is worth the trouble.
Recently, Administration released a letter to students’ parents about the harassment of a student after school hours. The girl was approached by a man in a truck, and felt quite threatened.
Needless to say, this is a problem. No girl should be harassed for her gender, approached, or in any way put in a dangerous situation. But this situation is far from new—it’s been experienced by many girls at Jefferson, and has gone unnoticed. Female students of all grade levels have been put in positions that would be considered threatening and/or worrisome, but none have seen the need to alert administration.
From catcalls to stalkers, we deal with harassment on a daily basis. This reporter, as a matter of fact, has been followed home by men in a vehicle, had things shouted her as she walked home from school, and been approached online with unwanted sexual attention. If one were to discuss this with female students, they’d find dozens of stories of school-wide and public harassment, and yet none of these stories have been acted upon.
Why is one incident such a big deal? Is administration aware of the situation which faces us? This reporter fully supports the measures taken as a result of the girl’s tipoff, but they should have happened long ago. Therefore, it’s impossible to give the deserved credit to the school without thinking of the many, many encounters that have preceded the one in question.
On the date of January 5, 2015, an eighth assembly took place. As many of you may know, JMS’ dean of students made a controversial (in the realm of JMS) speech concerning inappropriate clothing for girls. An anonymous writer had their opinion piece published yesterday, to be bombarded with a rush of commotion and opinions toward the matter! Haven’t read the piece? Find it here, along with many debate-full comments along the way! In response to the infamous article, two opposite journalists (who also wish to remain anonymous) have written-up their thoughts on the matter at hand. One, covering the exact meaning of “oppression,” as used in the piece yesterday, is against the anonymous writer. The other analyzes the meaning of Ms. Torres’ speech delicately, and tends to side with the anonymous writer. What do you think on the matter? Comment below on who YOU think is right.
The following is an anonymous “letter” written concerning the speech in today’s school assembly directly to JMS students. The vibe and ideas included in such do not necessarily represent the Jeffersonian or JMS. No offense is intended.
Dear Jefferson Students,
Just a reminder: regardless of school expectations, there is absolutely no need to judge yourself in the mirror! This is not healthy behavior, regardless of school expectations concerning dress code. Checking to see if you like your outfit is great, but don’t judge yourself!
Judging yourself is not a solution to the dress-code issue. The dress code is supposed to be about clothing, not your body! Don’t wear offensive or indecent clothing, please just wear what you feel comfortable in! Your body is not offensive, more so the clothes you wear! Every child deserves the right to not be judged. Wow… is that NOT easy to understand?