NSHSS member Francheska Cal Discusses Controversial Dress Code

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
People Woman Coffee Meeting

NSHSS member

Francheska Cal, a senior at Placer High School in Auburn, CA, is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. When she noticed that some students at her high school were wearing t-shirts containing imagery which can be deemed disrespectful, and might make other students feel uncomfortable, she knew she had to speak up. Student dress codes have become a hotly debated topic around the nation, as some feel the rules are often more strictly enforced for female students than their male counterparts.

At Placer High, some students were coming to school wearing shirts depicting scantily-clad women wearing outfits that would be unacceptable for female students to wear at school. Francheska and her colleagues on the Placer High School student newspaper, the Hillmen Messenger, think it is a cultural problem as more and more male students feel it is OK to wear these shirts. In addition, they are concerned for the parents that may be purchasing these shirts for their children and allowing them to wear them to school. 

As her teacher Dan Wilson explains, the school does not allow these shirts to be worn, but they are slipping under the radar, and that is where the issue lies. Francheska decided to write an article to spark a conversation and create awareness among faculty members that some students have been wearing these shirts.  Read her article, as it appears in the Hillmen Messenger, below.

Controversial T-shirts slipping under the radar at Placer

Although dress code is not overly enforced at Placer High School, there might be some shirts sliding through that can be taken as disrespectful to many people around campus. The dress code for boys has known to be lenient. But, what about those t-shirts that depict half-naked girls in a sexual manner? The outfits the girls in the pictures wear do not meet the dress code enforced for girls; therefore, it can be questioned whether it is acceptable or not.

In the Placer High School Student Handbook 2015-2016 it states, “Any clothing that can be considered as sexually harassing nature is not acceptable”  

“Feminists are too involved in women’s rights and get offended over nothing,” said a sophomore at Placer High School who is known for wearing these shirts. Students who wear these shirts have said they tend to get positive feedback from their peers so they have a hard time realizing that some are appalled at the sight of these shirts walking through campus.

A senior at Placer High School, has a different opinion on the situation at hand and stated, “If it displays women in a sexual way it promotes objectification of the female body it should be frowned upon.” She believes it is not necessarily offensive, however, she does not feel it is correct for the student body to support it.

It seems most teachers either don’t notice the shirts wandering around campus or if they see it, they make a joke regarding it

When the shirt was noticed in the Leadership class, Mike Sabins publicly asked his class how they felt about it, in which the class was split. Some had no feeling towards it and some were shocked.

Annette Udall, an English teacher at Placer High School, is shocked when these shirts are seen in her class. She said, “Just because the shirt is for sale does not mean it is school appropriate.” Udall expressed, she also does not believe the dress code should be favored to one gender or the other and that there “Needs to be a uniform standard for both men and women.”

Elise Ryerson was completely unaware of this happening all around Placer High School’s campus. She openly stated, “That’s a violation in my opinion. That’s worse than the beer company shirts some kids wear around but that dress code violation gets inforced.”

It seems many teachers don’t notice the shirts being worn but when shown pictures of what has been spotted in classrooms, they are appalled that no one has said anything about the matter to these students.