Most schools have dress codes.  If you’ve been in a school for any length of time, then you know it is often a topic of conversation in the faculty meetings.

Why Have a School Dress Code in the First Place?

Dress codes do several things to promote a safe learning environment for children.

  • When children wear clothes free from media characters or team sport logos, the opportunity for exclusion based on clothing is absent. De-emphasizing pressure to look cool by wearing the right clothing helps children of all economic backgrounds reduce social pressure based on clothing.
  • Clothing can be distracting.  Removing distracting clothes form a school atmosphere allows children to concentrate on learning.
  • Having a dress code also allows for some freedom of personality clothing choices without having to implement uniforms.

Help Parents Understand Why There is a Dress Code

Several problems arise when parents do not see the value in the dress code.  They may allow their children to break the dress code, putting the teacher in a position of ignoring it or upholding it.  The class teacher is really responsible for upholding it.  At the beginning of the year is a great time to make sure the students know that you will be upholding it. Once the teacher ignores it ……. enforcing it becomes much harder. When a teacher ignores dress code issues, it also puts subject teachers at a disadvantage.  They may feel uncomfortable about the what a student is wearing but may not feel like they can say something about it when, clearly the class teacher did not.

Why Should You Uphold the Dress Code?

Ignoring dress code infractions also puts the teachers on recess duty in a similar situation. This also creates a rift between the recess duty teacher and the student who may say, “Well Mrs. Smith doesn’t care if I wear this!”.    Upholding it at the beginning of the school year will help you uphold it the rest of the year.

Teachers not only need to be aware of their own school’s policies but they need to model it themselves.  When teachers do not follow the dress code of the school, it makes it practically impossible to ask students to uphold it.  There are parents that actually want their child’s classroom to uphold these dress codes too.  When teachers don’t uphold the dress code in their own classes, it is really showing disrespect for the policies of the school as well as other teachers and even parents.  Respect your school, follow and uphold the dress code!

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