Student Dress Codes and Fairness

No Place for Hate Activity
Happy Children Standing Outside School

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GRADE LEVEL: Middle School

Overview

Over the years, student dress codes have often brought about controversy. Recently, in a desire to prevent conflict over designer labels and create a more “professional” school environment, uniforms and dress codes have become more common in schools. In the past several years, student dress codes have made headlines because groups of students across the country—predominately girls—have challenged and protested their school’s dress code policy. They say that dress codes unfairly target girls, girls of color and transgender students. The dissenters say these policies are inequitable, enforced inconsistently and are rooted in gender and other social norms.

In this activity, students will:

  • Understand more about the student dress code controversy and the actions students have taken.
  • Consider the extent to which dress codes unfairly target certain identity groups.
  • Reflect on their own opinions and the opinions of their classmates regarding student dress codes.