• McKenna Lewis

Switching it up in the New School Year

With the new school year in full swing, many faculty members and students across the district

are excited about the new alterations to the secondary school dress code. Over the past 11 years that West High School has been open, the dress code has changed drastically, going from polo shirts and belts to allowing shorts and graphic T-shirts. The 2021-22 dress code is the most relaxed one yet, with additions ranging from body art to colored hair.

“I actually really like the dress code because we are able to show our personalities a bit more this year, but I wish we could wear sweatpants,” senior Zoey Chavez stated.

One of the most exciting modifications to this year's dress code is the neckline change. The new rule allows for any neckline type. This includes scoop necks, V-necks and, of course, the classic crewneck. This used to only apply to the female populous but has since been changed with the VISD (Victoria Independent School District) secondary school dress code handbook now citing that “students’ necklines must not show cleavage.”

While most students are excited about this new change some students, like senior Kamryn

Nickel, point out that there are societal issues with the wording of the new rule. “My opinion is we shouldn’t be telling girls how they should dress, but instead teaching boys that she isn't a distraction, they're just immature (...) I don’t believe that women should have to hide their bodies just because men cannot keep to themselves. It's only sexual or inappropriate if you perceive it that way.”

Another much needed change to the dress code as we roll into the new year is a looser ruling on ripped jeans. Before you could not have holes in jeans that showed skin, so most students chose to wear leggings or patches underneath. With the new code, there can be holes in the jeans as long as they follow the three-inch rule. With the handbook stating, “pants may not be torn/frayed/ripped three (3) inches above the knee while standing.” So, as long as the rips and holes in your jeans fall below the knee, you are good to go!

Along with changes to the clothes, there have also been changes to what is allowed as part of the students’ physical appearance. Previously students could not have any visible tattoos or body art, whether it was a flower or a dagger it was not allowed. Still, as part of the new dress code some tattoos are allowed to be visible. In order to be visible, tattoos must not contain, “graphics related to gangs, depicting illegal activities or substances or glorifying blood, gore, weapons or violence.” But what qualifies as these graphics are up to admin discretion.

Senior, Josh Morales exclaimed, “for me and a lot of other people, tattoos are so much more than swag. It’s a way for people to show off their creativity and express themselves in a form of art. In the world we live in today, I feel it’s important for everyone to be able to express themselves and show their creativity in any way they please!” He continued stating, “It’s kind of lame it took so long for the school district to allow students to show off their tats, but I’m glad I got to see the long overdue dress code changes just in time for my senior year.”

Rounding off the list of positive changes in the dress code are the new guidelines on hair color. In the past, a student could have dyed hair only if it was a natural color, limited to shades of black, red, blonde and brown. But this year students can have hair dyed any color, natural or unnatural. This new rule really excites many students, especially the incoming freshmen.

Freshman Isabella Leyva expressed, “I think it's cool because it helps kids find another way to

express themselves and find people similar to them.” Leyva explains, “I've gotten a lot of

compliments on my hair, and I became friends with those people because I found that they were like me.”

With all these exciting changes to the dress code it is easy to assume your outfit is good to go but in reality, a lot of teachers do not agree with what the dress code is saying. To ensure you do not get wrongfully dress coded, check out the rules at https://4.files.edl.io/db47/07/27/21/153826-5d461861-01c3-45cf-aa10-bea63c16263d.pdf to see for yourself!

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