Students took to a Toronto high school yesterday to protest a dress code after one of their fellow classmate’s choice of attire was deemed inappropriate. After feeling uncomfortable over the way teachers were ”judging her”, the student took to Facebook to create an event called #croptopday.
“I told [the principal] I had a lineup of outfits planned out because this was my birthday week,” the student stated in an interview for the National Post. “Because I wanted to feel very beautiful, look very beautiful and feel very confident in myself and be happy — and they were sexualizing my outfit.” She will be turning 18.
Although the event received an overall positive response and attracted the attention of social media platforms and news outlets across the nation, a spokesman for the Toronto District School Board reiterated the same thoughts in a statement saying ”students need to dress appropriately for school and what Halket wore wasn’t considered appropriate.”
And while the students showed great initiative by taking a stand in something they felt passionately about, I too, have some thoughts on the matter. So below is a brief message for those that attended Crop Top Day:
In all honesty, I think the school board has a right to implement a dress code. It’s essentially an institution where students go to gain knowledge and learn skills that will help them become an intregal part of society. Jeans and a t-shirt are perfectly acceptable forms of attire in this type of environment.
Here’s a thought; dress-codes are implemented in the workplace as well. Men and women are to wear professional, conservative attire. Not because it’s ”distracting” in the workplace to wear crop tops – but because its just inappropriate.
If we, as adults, can come to terms with the dress-codes implemented in our workplace, you, as teenagers should be able to come to terms with your dress-codes as well. Trust me when I tell you this: covering your midriff at school will not hurt your ability to retain information and get better grades.
The fact of the matter is, it’s school. There are rules. Save your crop tops for when you’re sneaking out of the house at night. Or wear it to your birthday party, Alexi.
As a 20 year old feminist myself, I can ensure that you are not being sexualized by your teachers. Your male classmates are told to pull up their pants and wear shirts to school as well. You’re not being oppressed by being told what not to wear. You’re being disciplined because you are, whether you like it or not, at the bottom of the hierarchy. The popular girls aren’t at the top of this hierarchy– your principals and teachers are.
So do us all a favour, and cover up a little. A t-shirt, a blouse, a burqa; there’s so many options! You will be respected by teachers and classmates, take less trips to the principal’s office, and most importantly– you’ll still turn heads in the halls. Because you’ll still look beautiful, even with your midriff covered!