I am old enough to have gone to public schools that enforced a fairly strict dress code, by which I mean the code was both fair and strict. Up until high school, at which point the dress code was relaxed to the point of being non-existent. It wasn’t an improvement. I blame the 60s.
I have no problem with requiring school uniforms, or with dress codes, provided that the code is clear and specific and designed so that lower income families aren’t unduly burdened. But then, as an old school parent, I believe that kids aren’t in school to express themselves, they are where to be taught and to learn. One of the things they should learn is that there are times and places where how you present and conduct yourself is as much a part of the process as the main purpose for being there.
My personal preferences aside, there are some simple rules which could be easily adopted and enforced by schools that could go a long way toward eliminating these “self expression” battles.
For instance, no printed clothing allowed. No shirts celebrating guns, or kittens, or sports, or a religion, etc., even including corporate logos for stores or brands or products.
No athletic clothing such as sweat pants, work out outfits, yoga pants, or the like.
No head wear other than the minimum which may be required by adherence to a recognized religion, as attested to in writing by the parents, with copies on file with the school and the district office.
No clothing with visible rips or tears, regardless of the location of the damage. Likewise, no clothing which, by size, style, design, or mode of wear exposes undergarments.
Coats, jackets, ponchos, and similar outerwear must be left in lockers and not worn during class hours.
I’m sure there are other good ideas I haven’t included. The point is to minimize the disruptive factor of some clothing while retaining a broad field of choice.
Like is said, I’m old school, and rapidly sliding into full on curmudgeonhood.