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School Dress Code- Do you think kids dress appropriately?

Original post made by Lili L., Alamo, on Jul 26, 2010

School starts in less than a month, and along with warm weather go styles that are more appropriate for the beach instead of the classroom. Do you approve of what you see worn to school, and do you think the administrators should be firmer in enforcing guidelines? Please let me know your thoughts. I am especially interested in hearing how fellow SRVUSD faculty members feel about this issue.

Comments (32)

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm

No, I don’t think that some kids dress appropriately for school. However, with that said, there are only a few that dress inappropriately, mostly girls. I only know of one teacher at my child’s middle school that would send kids to the office; and never in my elementary school.

Posted by HS Teacher
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 7:36 am

So that I don't have to see a lot of female body parts in the classroom, I keep my classroom thermostat set around 68 degrees. It stays cold, they keep sweatshirts and sweat pants on. As a result-I don't have to deal with those issues. I am sure someone will tell me that I am wasting taxpayer money-that's OK. At least the learning environment is not disrupted.

Posted by Alamo Jane
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jul 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

I live near to Monte Vista High School and see some students arriving at school looking more like the comic strip daisy mae than high school students. Learning to respect where you are and what you are doing is as important as learning how to do something. The world is a big unforgiving place and students are leaving school thinking that any thing is acceptable. There has always been an unspoken dress code for every situation. It's just too bad that the parents of these kids are more interested in fighting the schools for their "right to wear what they want" than they are in teaching their children how to get ahead and navigate in a world outside their permissive homes. The kids are the losers. When they get distracted and miss the point during class or later when they go for inte4rviews and don't get the job and don't understand why, it is often an effect of poor habits learned during school years.

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 9:28 am

Do kids dress appropriately? Some kids don't, but have you seen the way adult women dress? Some of the women around town dress like they're teenagers. They wear revealing clothes, very short skirts and very short shorts. In my opinion, anyone over 25 shouldn't be dressing like teenagers. Perhaps if some of the adult women would dress appropriately then some of the school age kids will also dress appropriately. When is it ever ok to dress like a streetwalker?

Posted by MV mom
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 27, 2010 at 9:43 am

I think uniforms would alleviate peer pressure and create a more focused learning environment. Needless to say, my son has zero respect for girls that go to school scantily clad.

Posted by TooHot?
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 10:08 am

Our middle school teachers are great about enforcing dress codes. If shorts are too short or spaghetti straps are worn, the student will be sent to the office to put on PE clothes. Some teachers are more lenient than others, but for the most part the dress code is enforced with regularity.

However, it's a whole new world in high school and a lot more skin is exposed. Sometimes the parent leaves first or kids will change clothes after they leave the house, so you can't always blame the parent for not knowing what the child is wearing. But ultimately, if the parent is notified by the school that the student is dressed inappropriately, it is their responsibility to let the student know they need to follow the guidelines.

Posted by RuleFollowingMom
a resident of Montair Elementary School
on Jul 27, 2010 at 11:20 am

Montair Elementary school has a published dress code that comes out in the handbook at the beginning of the year. It seems very reasonable and I don't allow my daughter to break it. Unfortunately, the dress code is not enforced. As a result, my daughter and I have an ongoing battle over why she may not wear flip flops, spaghetti straps and short, shorts. She never wants to break the rules, she just wants to fit in. If the staff at school would enforce the dress code, this would not be an issue. I've carefully mentioned the issue just a couple of times to other respectable Moms, and they have claimed to not even be aware of the dress code.

I think that the issue is that people feel that the young girls really don't have anything to hide. I mostly agree, however, I do feel that the rules need to be respected. Also, I think that the standards and respect should be established from the beginning of the student's school experience. It makes more sense to start setting expectations of what is appropriate clothing for school, when the child is in Kindergarten, and then keep it consistant all the way through high school. Otherwise, we are sending a message that there doesn't need to be respect for the school environment (reflected w/appropriate dress). We are also risking sending a message in middle school that spaghetti straps used to be okay, but now that you are such a sexy little thing, you must cover up! Wouldn't it be better if kids just knew what was appropriate for school and stuck with it, rather than changing the rules all of the time?

We've had one other big style issue at school. Our school has an amazing program with "high school helpers" who come into the classroom on a daily basis. Each class has the same 2-4 helpers for the entire year. These kids do an amazing job and really help our young students!! I am so thankful for the program and would not want to see it end. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any requirement for how these high school helpers must dress, when they come to help out. Although we've had many who come respectably dressed every day, we've had a number of girls who look like they should be working the street corner, as well as helpers with excessive piercings and counter-culture dress. Less offensive (but still a problem) we've had many wearing the "torn/cut up jeans". Our kids worship these high school helpers!! I have had endless trouble with both my daughter and son cutting holes in all of their pants, trying to look cool like the HS helpers! My six year old son was begging to get his ears pierced, because the guy who helped out in his class had them all the way up his ears. Yes, there are bigger problems in life, but this is something that seems like it should be regulated a bit more. To a five or six year old, these high school students are "adults", who are acting somewhat like teachers. What message does that send about appropriate dress at school and beyond?

Posted by HS Parent
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

Dublin High School has the strictest and most ridiculous dress code on record. They require the girls to wear shorts that do down to their knee. I'm not a fan of short shorts, or provocative clothing to school in any way, but its clearly up to the parents to say "no deal" as the kids leave the house. The message those adminstrators send and the way they make the girls and cheerleaders feel is tragic and a joke. They are the only East Bay School they does NOT let the Cheerleaders wear their uniforms to school on Fridays before games. The cheer parents spend a lot of $$ for the cheer program and the girls are treated differently from any other HS cheerleaders in Northern California. The girls are all great girls and a majority of them are on the honor roll. It's difficult to make the girls feel okay about the policy when even Catholic High Schools allow their cheerleaders to wear their uniforms. Has anyone looked at the girls volleyball uniforms lately, or girl's tennis skirts? Why pick on the cheerleaders to reinforce the dress code. Give me a break! Dublin High is in search of a clue with their dress code....I surely hope they find it, but it's apparently lost in the rubble of that remodel...

Posted by Not a Danville Mommy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Why are we looking to the schools to police our children? The way that parents allow their girls to dress, and, yes, I have 4 girls, is really a parenting issue. Imagine a world where parents actually parent and schools actually teach. hmmm... This points to such a larger problem in our society, but that is for another column.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Kathy: I am so sad to say you are totally right! Some women forget that they are parents now and need to set a good example! Maybe they stopped counting when they turned 25 years old and they really don’t know that they need to stop dressing like they are clubbing.

TooHot: Yes, you can absolutely blame the parents. Parents need to step up. It is okay to check your child’s backpack to make sure they are only going to school with appropriate items.

RuleFollowingMom: Every school in our district has this policy and every good parent should read the handbook. I have no respect for anyone who blames ignorance! I agree that consistency is best. Teach the kids how to follow rules in preschool and keep reinforcing the rules all the way through HS and beyond. I totally agree about the HS students needing to dress respectfully when helping/teaching our younger students (just like they would dress nice for a job).

As far as Dublin HS…good for you! I hope all schools follow in your footsteps!

Not a Danville Mommy: I agree, but some Danville mother’s don’t know how to parent, or they just want to be their child’s friend. It would be ideal if parents would parent and teachers would teach.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Marie: As usual, I absolutely agree 100% with your common sense opinions. You make some very good observations and you are very logical and demonstrate solid critical thinking skills. I actually think your opinions on most topics usually reflect the majority of the residents of Danville, and give me hope that old time morals and values are still alive in liberal California. God bless you.

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2010 at 9:12 pm

The schools should include pictures in the school handbooks of students wearing clothes that are appropriate for school. Not only will it help students and parents to actually see what should be worn for school but it will also bring interest to the handbooks and more students and parents will read it.

Posted by Carol
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Jul 28, 2010 at 7:06 am

I agree with the comments above. At my oldest son's middle school there is an inconsistency in enforcing the dress code rules. Some days it seems the administration "chooses their battles" and let the short shorts and tank tops slide. I also have heard from more than one mother that the girls leave the house covered up, but remove the sweats or baggy tops once they arrive at school.
If the administration would call the parents, send home slips requiring a signature or some other inconvenience to the adults at home then there may be more enforcement and support from home. Simply having the offenders change in to PE clothes for the rest of the day and then allowing them to change before going home won't change anything. If there is no "pain" associated with the infraction then there will be no change.
I find the ways some of the students dress, especially girls I must say, a deterent to concentrating and a solid learning environment. Then again, look at the clothes rack at Target or Macys and see what is for sale. A return to modesty would be nice!

Posted by Jo-Ann
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 28, 2010 at 11:08 am

I do not have children in school but I do have eyes. I think students and teachers should dress in modest, conservative, and businesslike attire. That said I also believe a uniform type of dress would be much easier for everyone involved... collared shirt and docker type pants for the males, a mid lenthg knee skirt or slacks with a collaed shirt for the females. Young people could then concentrate on their school work and not their clothes. Teachers should also in a manner that reflects this is thier WORK place..not a social outing.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Thanks American.

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Absolutely not!!!!! Back in the day, women(girls) who wore what they wear today were considered on the whoring level. If the mothers' involved did their job, this dress wouldnt appear. But mothers are also into dressing to out(ie., less dressing)dress each other.

Stop and think, what do bees look for? What do bulls look for? What do other creatures looks for? Yes, women are not animals which means they can plan, think, and use their six senses to figure out where the limit is. But these days, the limit is less which immediately provides more viewing to the world. As if the hormones dont exist in the roaring teenage boys.

Then they tempt, with no wrong intentions, the boys; act cutely, provide flashing moments for the sheer delight of whom, other girls?: waste a bunch of money outdoing themselves in this area; waste plenty of time "discussing" the other girls/boys as to how they look. Did they just sneak out of the house this way?

So considering the way human nature is, this less dress code will work its way through the full cycle and eventually the poor boys with raging hormones will be accused of dreadful things because the girls dress less as if this style is totally acceptable.

Who is to accept the responsibility for this "allowed" dress code? Who will curtail it? Who will put better sense to good use?

You decide

Thoughtfully provided for your critical consideration

Posted by nancy s
a resident of Danville
on Jul 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Most of the kids, mainly girls, DO NOT dress appropriately for school, or for being in public for that matter. Boobs spilling out of low cut tops, bellies showing from open midrifs and butt cheeks showing from too short shorts or dresses/skirts. It is a distraction for all males, not just teenage males. However, I but a lot of the blame on the schools. This goes for the cell phone use as well. Every year we get the code of conduct forms. Students and parents sign these forms. The school NEVER enforces these codes. If teachers would take the time in the beginning of the year to send ALL the students in their class to the office when they violate the dress or cellphone codes (take the phone for a violation); contact the parents, give detention, then the students would learn and follow the rules. It is like a speed trap....after a few get tickets, EVERYONE slows down! The problem is, SRVUSD has the dress code, the cell phone rules, they just won't enforce them because they are AFRAID of making the parents that think "the rules don't apply to them or their kids" mad. SRVUSD GROW A PAIR!

Posted by CDSI Research
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Dear Dolores,

As we walked through Bishop's Stortford, a suburb 22 miles northeast of London, two days after the Danville Parade, we saw children dressed in their public (private) school uniforms walking about the quaint shops and streets. Each school has its own uniforms and options such as skirts, dresses, long skirts and trousers for the girls. The boys has trousers or "knickerbockers" much like golf's plus fours.

These middle school and secondary school (high school) uniforms are a sense of pride to the children because they mark economic status in which school parents can afford and have social status to place their children.

As we talked with a local shop "lady" she noted that come the end of July, uniforms will be put away until the next term and all Hell breaks loose. The children spend August as just friends and then return to the ranking displayed by their uniforms.

One could imagine if MVHS had uniforms,


Posted by Elaine
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 29, 2010 at 6:39 am

While I admit that the schools have an obligation to enforce their own rules, which I have observed being overlooked at times, the ultimate resposibility is with "the home." Who is pulling out their wallets and buying these students the short-shorts, tank tops and other skimpy clothing? If the parents didn't allow it in the house in the first place then the problem would surely decrease. And, if as consumers, the parents stop buying the tawdry rags for their children then the manufacturers would start offering more sensible choices. Moms and dads, you have the power!

Posted by Julie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2010 at 8:05 am

Dress code? Why do they even bother to bring it up? I've seen plenty of high school girls with inappropriate attire on when picking up my children from school.

Posted by nancy s,
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:43 am

While I agree that everything starts at the home is impossible, without being at your childs side all day, to control what they do out of your presence. Even if a parent doesn't buy their kids the types of clothing we feel are inappropriate, if the kids earn their own money, they buy it, or they borrow it from friends. I remember running into my daughter a block from school as school let out and she was in a spagetti string tank top that wasn't hers...the look on her face was priceless...busted..bottom line...they are at school where the rule applies...the school needs to enforce it. If a kids boss gave them a dress code do you think they would adhere to it to keep that job?

Posted by TooHot?
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

Nancy, you hit the nail on the head! Even the nicest, most vigiliant parent who is searching a backpack each morning, isn't going to stop a headstrong teen from changing if clothes are borrowed from a friend. No one can claim they have all the answers to completely stop this type of problem. Teens will continue to push the envelope, because that's what some teens do. Even teens with the strict parents!

Schools can't be the parent, but like the police they need to issue the 'ticket' to the offender. I know our middle school calls the parent after the 2nd offense, so parents shouldn't be clueless. Maybe concerned parents should talk to the admins about changing the rules and calling after they've dressed inappropriately the FIRST time.

Posted by Susie
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

I can't wait for all you middle school parents to experience the reality of high school juniors and seniors and their own little sense of fashion, style and morality. Their daily activities and behavior will absolutely blow your mind, even if you've spent the last 17 years raising them with authority, discipline and the utmost respect for their elders, teachers, families and me, they're hormones take over and all bets are off, my friends.

It's gonna send you all delving into a nice glass (or 3) of chardonnay each evening, as your fervently text message their cell phones, trying to obtain their whereabouts, to no avail!! Trust me, its the number one reason we ship them off to college in the end. And the hilarious thing is, they all turn out okay, in spite of us.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

I don’t like where this is going! Of course we can fit the problem if every parent steps up!

Parents need to be role models and dress respectfully; I’m tried of seeing Mrs. A’s cleavage and Mrs. B’s panties. Make sure your child is dressed appropriately, check their backpack and don’t let them bring a change of clothes to school (whether for themselves or a friend).

Parents should not let MS aged kids walk the town to go shopping by themselves, they need your guidance, plus, even though this is Danville, kids still get harassed and just a few months ago, a child was mugged behind the Blackhawk shops. As far as HS aged kids, parents need to set the rules, if kids can’t follow basic clothing rules, then take away all of the “cool” clothes, take away their allowance, confiscate anything that is inappropriate and let them have it back when they are going to the beach or pool.

If parents really wanted this problem to go away, it would. It takes a village! I am alright with another parent going up to my child and reminding them or asking them if I would approve of what they are doing at that moment, are you? Most Danville parents would call their lawyers if you approached their child! That is the problem, the kids know what they can get away with!

Posted by Lili L.
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

I am the original poster. Thank you all so much for your comments! As a substitute teacher, I often see these inappropriate outfits (not to mention behavior), and wanted to hear your thoughts. I always confiscate phones/other electronics and will send kids to the office for wearing attire that is inappropriate for the classroom.

As Nancy wrote, the current style of short-shorts and low tank tops will be seen in classrooms this fall yet again. I am sure that many of these students change outfits when they leave home in the morning, no matter how strict the parents may be about clothing. It is up to the teachers & administrators to let them know that it won't be tolerated at school, bottom line. Same goes for ANY electronics. They will stop trying if they can't get away with it.

P.S. Susie- Is grounding/loss of privileges not in vogue anymore? If I did that when I was a junior in HS, I wouldn't have seen the light of day for weeks.

Posted by Hal
a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Dear Dolores,

Vince and I were talking with Dana and others over coffee this morning. Our joyous reunion turned to the humor we shared among the Alamo Towne Fool prior to 2005. We struck on imagining school uniforms for our various high schools, especially if the school colors were used.

Certainly, MVHS would have red and black, and possibly plaid, in the design, looking mostly like some upscale brand that was noted for its World War I British Uniforms.

Quite inconveniently, SRVHS would have the same colors as CCC Jail Inmates and the challenge of not having their students arrested as escapees.

With Cal High projecting constant image of Halloween, our humor drifted off into the causes of such need for uniforms. What if each high school established reveille and inspection each morning at 6AM for parents and students?

That should do the trick!

But what the HAL, it is only vaudeville.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 29, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I'm a recent high school graduate myself, and some of the dress codes DO indeed need to be changed.

What worries me the most, however, is the way middle schoolers dress. Seeing 12-14 year-old scantily clad girls talking about their voracious sex appetites is not exactly what I would call...appetizing.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I agree Tom, but sadly I have already seen it in elementary school! The reason it is a problem now, is because parents thought it was “cute” when they dressed their 2nd and 3rd grade girls in short shorts and skimpy tops. If allowed at such a young age, it only gets harder to correct later. I’m afraid that some of these girls will be crying rape, not understanding that their own actions may have instigated it.

Posted by Meiko
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm


Posted by June
a resident of Danville
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

@Meiko you should be more concerned about what you are learning rather that what you are wearing. Seeing your writing style, lack of grammar, punctuation and a coherent thought it does not appear you are learning much.

Posted by frankly
a resident of Danville
on Mar 13, 2014 at 6:52 am

Absolutely not!!!

School is not a place for "fashion" shows but a place to dedicate one's growing mind to academic subjects rather then being concerned about how one looks in dress styles. And all the while flaunting their body parts and not focusing on what is necessary and basic for schools.

Unfortunately, from my conversations, and days in the classroom, many a house seeks to make their young female student the cat's mow without providing more and sufficient guidance to studying, learning, self discipline.

Basically, puts too much early stress on, intentionally or not, sexual attraction when school is not the place per se. And there are some moms who allow this unfortunately.

This age is explosively exposed to too much sexual innuendoes while their bodily growth is also contributing to this clash.

So why allow the needless display when nature and society are already doing it.

Limitation is more helpful just as in dietary intake of quantity of calories to prevent excessive bodily weight; so to limit this unnecessary display of body parts.

Posted by Catherine
a resident of Blackhawk
on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Wow – I think a HOT BUTTON has been hit! I do believe there are some good posts here and some that are a little uninformed.

First, I think we need to start with the fashion industry in general – magazines and design houses. I have a freshman daughter at MV who doesn't like wearing the short shorts or revealing shirts and sometimes it is really hard to find those. When we do find some appropriate shorts, we buy numerous pairs and I don't know how many stores we have gone to trying to find either not too revealing or too thin of fabric tops.

Second, for all those who have pointed towards the mothers who like to dress like teenagers, well said. Kids learn by example and when I’m at the local Blackhawk Safeway and see moms that I know have teenager daughters whose cleavage is practically popping out of their shirts and their shorts and pants look like they are painted on, what does that says to their daughters. The “do as I say, not as I do” thing is not going to work.

Third, after having volunteered so many years in the school, yes, kids that are determined do find a way to wear inappropriate clothing even with the most diligent of parents not buying the stuff in the first place and checking backpacks. There are always those bad influence friends around.

Fourth, I don’t agree with uniforms as we are America and need to teach our children how to have their freedoms without infringing on others. For instance, I completely disagree with the court saying students at Morgan Hill cannot wear American flag clothing on Cinco de Mayo. This is America – not Mexico. If they want to show support for this country why is that a bad thing? But obviously, that would be a whole other thread!

And finally, to the posters who either said or insinuated that girls might cry rape and that they brought it on themselves – SHAME ON YOU! Rape is about power, not sex and a girl should be able to run around naked (obviously over exaggerating for those who take posts literally here) and not have any fear of that.

The world we live in promotes all of this and until that changes, it is going to be very hard as a parent or teacher to fight it as right now we are trying to go against the current. It is just going to take a lot of resolve for those of us who care. Although I am not a fan of Sheryl Sandberg, I think with her media platform, she should have gone against the word “skimpy” instead of “bossy” as I think that is a more pressing topic

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