Remember the days when a young female student might be sent to the principal’s office for wearing a short skirt, having to kneel down to see if her skirt touched the ground? If it didn’t, she likely was sent home to change her clothes.
Those days may be long gone, but dress codes are still regulated as part of the daily education process at area high schools.
Fenton High School (FHS) Principal Mark Suchowski has a saying, “We like to see you, we just don’t want to see all of you,” which pretty much sums up his view of students — both male and female — wearing appropriate clothes to school.
With the school year just about to begin, what students choose to wear as a fashion statement and for comfort might be at odds with what school officials deem appropriate. For the most part, however, local dress codes are more common sense than anything.
“One thing we would like parents and students to know is that you are here for an education, and if your manner of dress is getting more attention than the lesson being presented, it’s an issue that needs to be resolved,” said Laura Lemke, CTE director/assistant principal at FHS.
This may be especially true during the hot, summer days early in the school year, when students of both sexes may be tempted to wear “short shorts” or tops that show a lot of skin.
Disrupting the educational environment with provocative clothing is a dress code no-no at all area schools, and includes halter tops, bare midriffs, tank tops, very short skirts, exposed undergarments, etc.
“Shorts, skirts or holes in jeans must be at least mid-thigh or below fingertip length when arms are at the side,” states one section of the Lake Fenton High School dress code in its 2019-2020 Student Handbook.
Leave your slippers, pajamas and blankets at home, as well as, hats, caps, bandanas or sunglasses that block a student’s eyes.
Clothing that advocates or promotes drug use, alcohol or tobacco-related messages aren’t allowed at any area high schools, nor is clothing that incites violence, is discriminatory to other people or urges violation of the law.
“Student dress may not display lewd, vulgar, obscene or offensive language or symbols, including innuendos (pictures of symbols relating to topics inappropriate for a school setting),” states a portion of the Holly High School dress code in its 2019-2020 Student Handbook.
Students who wear inappropriate clothing to area high schools will be asked to change their clothing, and may be provided with a shirt or gym clothes to wear instead.
“Our philosophy is to try to remedy the dress code situation quickly and get the student re-focused back on their education and back in class,” Lemke said.
“That might mean turning a shirt with an inappropriate message inside out, or letting the student change into his/her gym clothing. It might mean letting the student choose from the closet of clean, never used old homecoming/sports team T-shirts. We really try to solve the problem here at school, without having to have a parent bring clothes to school. That would be a last option.”
Review entire parent/student handbooks online with links provided with this story.
Here are links to dress codes from Student Handbooks of area high schools:
Fenton High School
Lake Fenton High School
Linden High School
Holly High School