The dress code in Clovis Unified has been brought up by parents and students alike for several months. There have been other issues brought up about how strict the code is. In particular though, a majority of speakers stated how the dress code targets female students and female students of certain body types.
According to the Clovis Unified website, the dress code enforced in the district is set to uphold a certain way of dressing on school campuses. The website says “ All clothing shall be neat, clean and acceptable in appearance and shall be worn within the bounds of decency and good taste as appropriate for school.”
When given the time to talk about these rules, those who spoke on it stated this is not what the dress code is enforcing. Student Samantha gave her thoughts on the dress code meaning.
“I don’t think it truly sends the right message,” Samantha said. “The dress code teaches people to sexualize young bodies to the point where I don’t even feel safe or comfortable on campus even when I am in dress code.”
Samantha also stated that a male teacher told her that if there was no dress code, “Girls would be walking around with their butt cheeks hanging out.” She was worried why that was the first thing that came to the teacher’s mind.
Another student, Maya, followed up Samantha’s speech with concerns of her own when she was given her time to speak.
“The district always advocates for feeling safe at school, but the enforcement of dress code doesn’t make students feel safe,” Maya said. “Currently, the dress code sexualizes children and encourages the sexualization of children with many of these restrictions born out of sexism. Please take time to consider our feelings and speeches when revising the dress code.”
Maya also spoke about how the dress code can affect education. She told a story of how she lost an entire period of class due to a dress code violation. The campus staff was not able to find clothing for her to replace the clothing that violated the dress code. She was taken around the campus until they found appropriate clothing.
A petition made by students and parents is currently out to change the dress code. The petition has over 3,700 signatures.
To view the entire school board meeting, visit the Clovis Unified School District YouTube page.