A strict new dress code at Tottenville High School in Staten Island, New York, is dividing the school’s community. Some feel the dress code was needed given current fashion trends. Others say the dress code is far too strict, and point to the 200+ students that earned detention for their attire in the first two weeks of class alone.
Among the things banned in the dress code are tank tops, hoodies, sunglasses, crop tops and short shorts. Of the 200 students who’ve been given detention for violating the code, 90% were female.
The school has 15 staff members who browse halls between classes looking for dress code violations. When a student is caught, they are given detention and forced to change into gym clothes.
“I was, like, flipping out, cursing mad, and I said, like, ‘You know I’m not gonna wear this!’”one student said of her gym clothes. “I took it off as soon as I walked out.”
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One student who was forced to remove a hooded sweatshirt on a recent cold morning says the policy “makes [Tottenville High] feel like an elementary school.”
Some parents feel the strict code is necessary. Mother Sasha German told the New York Post she couldn’t believe how girls were dressed at a recent football game.
“The girls wear these little booty shorts that you can see the crease of their buttocks,” said German. “They look like they’re training to work in strip clubs.”
Other parents, meanwhile, think the students are now dressing more provocatively on purpose to rebel against the policy.
“These students are rebelling to the point of basically wearing undergarments,” said father Vincent Candelieri, 59. “[Principal Joseph Scarmato] is a total control freak.”
School district superintendent Aimee Horowitz supports the school’s dress code, and says revealing clothing “creates a distraction, is dangerous or interferes with the learning and teaching process.”