NFA Listening to Student Concerns About Dress Code


Lora Piper, NFA Red & White Reporter





(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

The beginning of the 2021-22 school year has arrived with controversy regarding the school’s dress code and its effect on students. Students believe the dress code is unfair and infringes on their right to express themselves in their own way. They are showing their frustration with the dress code by putting signs up in the bathrooms, creating and signing petitions, and attending discussions where they have told teachers and administrators their opinions. 

Ninth grade student Ella Malek suggests different ways that she thinks the dress code should be changed. 

“Leggings should be fine to wear without a super long shirt; tank tops should be allowed; even with (logos and phrases) on shirts, the policy needs to be more specific, like what we can and can’t wear.”

Tenth grade student Nora Brassard says, “I’m glad they started changing (the dress code) because it was unfair before… I think it unfairly targets female students.”

Fortunately, NFA’s Deans of Students are listening to the students’ thoughts on the dress code and agree that changes should be made. 

“I do think the dress code expectations need to be a little more clear on certain things because I feel that there is a miscommunication between staff and students between what’s acceptable and not acceptable for school,” saidAmy Labas, Dean of Students for the classes of 2023 and 2025.

The dress code will be changed, according to Labas, and it should be to the liking of the students.

Clarence Cooper, Dean of Students for the classes of 2022 and 2024, states, “We tell our students that this is their home away from home, so that’s true, and we have to include them in the decision making.”  

Labas commented about the fairness of the current dress code, “I did feel that it was very female or female-identifying heavy and that there were a lot of things that seem to be allowed or not covered in detail with males or male-identifying (students).”

The NFA Deans of Students are working their hardest to take the students’ opinions into consideration, but are finding that process challenging.  

Cooper said, “We’ve had a dress code for the last how many years and unfortunately the dress code was not enforced. So, once you start to try and address it, then of course now it’s a conflict because ‘we’ve been allowed to wear this, why can’t we wear it now?’”

Labas added that “enforcing the rules that previously went unnoticed has been a challenge.”

There was a discussion on October 27 about the dress code with NFA students, teachers, and administrators, where they received lots of feedback and created a proposed dress code that is very positive, according to Ms. Labas.

This dress code has not yet been released, but it is in the long process of going through administration.

The students speaking out really helped to have the dress code be changed.

Labas expresses how she feels about the students speaking out. “I think it’s wonderful that they’re trying to get their voice out, but at times, I think at the start of the year, it just wasn’t done the right way for it to be an effective voice. I really want people who feel injustices that are happening to be able to know how to have their voices be heard and to be able to make changes using the systems that we have in place. So, I never want to quiet anyone’s voice. I think it’s actually good that people are speaking up and more power to them.”