Can the dress code be tailored to the student body?


Elias Eagle

KHS students sport the latest fashions

Elias Eagle

Editor’s Note: Thoughts expressed in Karns Chronicle opinion columns do not necessarily represent the opinions or beliefs of  Karns High School or Knox County Schools.

The school dress code is essential in a lot of ways, but according to the student body, it’s in dire need of changes. While it certainly seeks out to do a lot of good, it seems that the system might be flawed in a lot of ways. A middle-ground needs to be met between the opposing sides for the benefit of everyone that attends school. 

The Knox County school dress code was last altered in 2009, and fashion has changed a lot. For women, it’s a lot harder to find properly fitted clothes that comply with the dress code. What’s trending is short shorts and crop tops, and that’s what’s common at any given clothing store. 

Mrs. Mink, teacher at Karns High School, said “When I go to stores, and I’m with my nieces, they don’t sell those kinds of shorts that are long.”

 It’s a genuine challenge for the females of this school to find appropriate clothes that comply with such a dress code, loosening the code can ease this problem significantly. 

A lot of students have expressed how the dress code can be unfair, and unevenly targeted towards the female student body. 

“I saw a guy walking in a tank top yesterday, and I had a tank top and a sweater on, and I would get dress-coded for taking the sweater off, but he didn’t get dress-coded,” said Emma Mills, Sophomore at KHS.

“Last year on toga day, guys were shirtless under their togas, but a girl was wearing a tank top and she got dress-coded,” said Issabella Lee, another Sophomore at KHS. 

It can be incredibly frustrating for these students who feel they are being unjustly treated. Seeing the student male body get away with wearing the exact same things and not getting dress coded, it comes to show how flawed the system is. A broken system needs to be fixed, and fixing it involves loosening it.

The Karns High School staff had a relatively unanimous answer when asked “What are your opinions on the dress code.”  Scott Clark, Andre Caballero, Lee Henson, all gave answers along the lines of “I don’t have an opinion on the school dress code, I enforce what I’m told.”

 If the staff doesn’t have much of an opinion, none of them being very defensive of the dress code,  wouldn’t that be the sign it’s time for a change? 

“Why we have a dress code, and what Mrs Hatfield said about it, it is more about professionalism,” said Mink. Having a level of professionalism is good in a learning environment, but half the student body wears hoodies to school everyday anyway. The same level of professionalism can be maintained while wearing a crop top as wearing a hoodie has.

The dress code has been altered before. At one point wearing open toed shoes without something covering up the foot was seen as taboo, and was in the dress code as a result. Times\changed, and that rule was lifted, allowing the Karns student body to enjoy the luxury of wearing slides and flip flops.

While the entire dress code shouldn’t be completely abolished, there’s several things that could be changed and continue to instill the values of the school and comply with the overarching goals of the dress code. Attire like crop tops, tank tops, short shorts and much more banned items are well able to keep this level of professionalism, and give students far more options when dressing for their school day.