IEverything comes back in fashion: crop tops were already in vogue in the 1990s and have been seeing them again for some time. This style of dress is quite popular among girls and young women, but does it also belong in the classroom and in the schoolyard? The question of what constitutes appropriate clothing is regularly discussed in schools. A few years ago, hot pants were the trigger for such discussions, but now it’s cropped fashion. Now the city student council is also taking a stand: it is strictly against restricting the choice of clothes through regulations.
Ida Keller, who is a member of the student council’s board, reports that individual schools already set guidelines for how the students have to dress. At others, such as the Helmholtz School, a dress code is discussed again and again. Keller emphasizes that schools should be places where students like to be and feel comfortable. “Showing skin doesn’t limit learning or social interaction,” she says. It should therefore be up to the students how they dress. “Clothing can also be an expression of personality and individuality.” The vast majority of students feel that an encroachment on this freedom and the free development of personality is encroaching.
“Don’t limit yourself to looks”
In addition, dress codes primarily affect the female part of the student body. Keller sees the danger that this would reinforce role models and taboos. This could lead to uncertainty: “An incorrect understanding of one’s own guilt for cross-border behavior could also be a possible consequence of such generated norms in the private sphere.” She believes that there are no objective criteria for clothing rules, it’s more about individual views.
She also cannot imagine how compliance with the requirements would be checked: “From what length is a pair of pants or a top considered too short or a neckline too low?” Keller fears that students could be exposed if the teachers do so have to judge their subjective assessment. “This harbors the potential for conflict and leads to insecurity.”
“All of this stands against current efforts at diversity, anti-sexism and body positivity. No one should be reduced to looks or clothing,” said the student council. The idea of dress codes had fallen out of time. Rather, students should be allowed to express their individuality in the safe space of the school, without fear of discrimination or sexism.