The Dreaded Dress Code Ban

Are leggings and ripped jeans going to be banned from Waltham High?


The dress code has been the topic of rumours circulating the halls of Waltham High School since the school opened its doors for the 2018-19 school year. Students whisper to each other about possible bans, weaving these “what-ifs?” through the school like a broken game of telephone. Talk of banning popular clothing items like ripped jeans and leggings enraged students; mostly female because it seemed as though most of these bans clearly targeted feminine characteristics. But the question remained, are any of these bans real?


The source of the rumours is unknown, but one thing is for certain, these rumours gripped Waltham High, entangling female and male students alike in a game of anticipation. Just waiting until the harsh bans are forced upon the students of Waltham High. A Senior Revue skit accurately represents the students’ confusion on the topic. The skit is framed as if it is a news segment. The anchors, one being Ryan Landry, report on the dress code bans as facts. The segment focuses on the alleged ban of leggings. When asked about how the MC’s came up with the idea of the skit, Ryan Landry responded, “We were hearing rumours about how there was a new dress code going around Waltham High School.” Confirming the idea that the skit was not based on fact, but merely rumours.


During an interview with the interim principal Mr. Maiorano, we discussed the validity of these rumours. He simply stated, “The rumours that I have been hearing… about specific items of clothing that will be banned, those are false. Students have been coming up to me about specific clothing items like leggings and yoga pants… that rumour is false.” After so abruptly putting an end to the rumours, he goes into why these rumours couldn’t possibly be true. He states that the dress code for the 2018-19 school year has already been confirmed and that no changed could be made until the following year. He and Mr. Braggs, the Junior Associate Principal, both do not plan on making any steps towards changing the dress code.


Our current dress code is a brand new one that was completely changed from the previous school year. In comparison, the new dress code is about a whole page longer than its predecessor. Talking to Mr. Mairono, he states that the new dress code is to, “protect students. Particularly female students.” Going on he says confidently that the prior dress code, “targeted females more than males with regard to what they could wear.” Which is undeniably true. But this doesn’t just happen at Waltham High, misogynistic dress codes are a huge issue plaguing all of the schools in the nation. But with the recent change in the dress code, which supposedly involved lawyers, a school committee, and students, the rules seem to have been improved. It is without saying that we have a ways to go. Rules with shorts and tank tops are stated as gender-neutral but are clearly targeted towards females.


Although we do have a new dress code, and it does seem to be improving, there are still many flaws, including misogynistic rules and enforcement issues. Mr. Braggs stated that “enforcement of the dress code is inconsistent.” Meaning that some people will get dress coded, but others who are wearing virtually the same thing will not.


We have made progress, but there is more to be improved. If you have any concerns or thoughts on the dress code that you want to address, visit your Associate principal and voice your concerns! Every March the Associate Principals meet with the Principal to discuss the changes if any, that should be made in the following years’ dress code, so let your voice be heard!


The dress code may have changed, but not in the way that everyone thought it did. No, leggings and ripped jeans will not be banned, they never were going to be. But it’s not perfect, and as a student body, we can improve the conditions that we have to live under, every single day. Change starts with you.