Dress code continues to irk students

Science teacher Rick Pavinato says he has earned himself a reputation for calling out students who sag their pants.

“People turn the corner, and they pull their pants up because I have hallway referrals ready,” he said.

It’s not personal, he says. He just wants  students to set a professional tone at school.

“It doesn’t look successful in the professional world. I got a feeling that if they think that it’s okay to do it here, they’ll do it in college and then they think it’s okay for their first job or job interview,” he said. “If they walk in like that, they won’t get the job, no matter how nice or  qualified they are; the first  impression you can never get again.”

Teachers and students have been clashing over dress codes forever. Usually, the pressure is on the girls who show  too much skin.

However, there seems to be an increasing pressure on boys, who draw the eyes of deans and teachers when they let their pants sag.

Of the 484 write ups of last year, 161 were for males compared to 323 for females, according to a report from the deans office.

Principal Ryan Pitcock says sagging is one of the more common dress code issues the school faces.
He sees it everyday when he greets students as they enter the building in the morning.

“There’s never a day that goes by that I am not at those front doors telling a young man to either pull his pants up, or I’m sending him to the deans office,” he said.

Those students who ignore the call to pull up their pants may land in the dean’s office.

“On a daily basis we are reprimanding for sagging pants by either telling students to pull their pants up, or issuing detentions for multiple offenses,” Dean Jennifer Rudan said.

Junior Emma Nwumeh doesn’t understand why it’s such a big deal.

“As long as you don’t see butt-cheeks, then it’s okay,” she said.

While some of the faculty says that  sagging is an increasingly visible problem, many female students say that too often the dress code is unfairly directed towards them.

They say the rules are outdated or unfair towards girls who have more curves.

Pitcock says the policy changes as styles change. When leggings became more popular, the policy changed to exclude girls from showing too much.

“The rules are not made to be gender specific, but obviously more rules are going to apply to girls than boys, but it isn’t intentional,” Pitcock said.

Pavinato says he corrects both boys’ and girls’ dress.

“I send both to the dean’s, but the thing with the guys is that it’s easy to correct, just tell them to pull their pants up and send them on their way. With the girls you can’t do that. They have to change because you can’t fix the rips,” Pavinato said, referring to ripped jeans.

Sophomore Nico Ivy said girls get “harsher treatment.”

“They can’t express themselves because of what H-F thinks they should wear,” he said.

But Rudan says it’s a fair policy.

“Dress code is for everybody. If a guy shows up in short shorts, we’d ask him to change as well. It is based upon the amount of skin shown,” Rudan said.