The Confusion of the School Dress Code

Olivia Simpson


The school dress code, in recent years, has been an area of controversy; all one needs to do is look up “school dress code” on Twitter. But how does Mariemont fit into this?

Currently, the dress code is controlled by the Board of Education.

Teachers and administrators have the ability to dress code kids. But being “dress coded” is perceived differently at Mariemont. Dr. Renner described it as “talking to someone about breaking the dress code.” 

Being dress coded can also be done in a couple different ways.

McKenzie Zobrist, a sophomore, said “I had a teacher come up to me. I was wearing a sweater and … it was a tied open back and she went up to me and told me she wouldn’t let her daughter wear what I was wearing and then kind of told me what I was wearing wasn’t what she would like me to wear.”  

Senior Sophia Fujimaki said she was dress coded. She added, “it wasn’t a huge deal, Mr. Block just told me to put on a jacket.”

But the biggest problem with the dress code is the confusion around it. This is because many students are unaware of the actual policies.

A poll on the Warpath website, asked “Thoughts on the school’s dress code?” 5 out of 8 of those who participated answered: “What is the school’s dress code???” 

This could be credited to the handbook (page 12) that students signed at the beginning of the school year. It vaguely states students should “avoid dress and grooming styles that (1) divert the attention of the pupils from the primary function of the school, which is education, and (2) create in the minds of pupils both in this and other communities a misleading image of the student body and school program.”

The phrasing of this could be interpreted in multiple ways–and it has been.

Sophomore class president, James McGrory, said “I know that there has been some discrepancy if that’s actually in the dress code or not,” when talking about the policy with hats and hoods.

Freshman, Micah Miller, when asked what he thought he wasn’t allowed to wear, in a confused tone answered “pajamas or hats.”

Differently, Lucy Dodson, a sophomore, to the same question answered “scandalous clothing and spaghetti straps.”

Freshman, Sophia Sontag answered “crop tops or short shorts.”

None of them are wrong, but when it comes to the dress code policy that they signed at the beginning of the year, one could argue otherwise.

This leads to discrepancy because some facility members have different guidelines than are in the student handbook. 

This is Dr.Renner’s handbook:

It states “shorts must be no higher than mid-thigh to be appropriate” and “hats, headbands, bandanas, and sunglasses are NOT to be worn inside the building.” This might be helpful information for students to know. 

After becoming aware of the discrepancy between the two policies, Dr. Renner has decided to make the student handbook similar to his own, since his is more specific. 

Even with the confusion of the dress code, students are being dress coded. This is also impacting how they perceive themselves. 

Fujimaki is one of those people. She said “I really love expressing myself through fashion. It’s my creative outlet, so it hurt a little that I was forced to change. But Mr. Block was really nice about the whole situation so it didn’t impact me much.”

Zobrist said the situation “made me feel bad about myself.” 

For now it appears that Mariemont’s dress code is far from perfect but that administrators are open to fixing it.