Giving the Dress Code the “Cold Shoulder”

Emily Kerr GM graduate

Emily Kerr GM graduate

Rebecca Kerr, Reporter

Within the GM student body, there has been some haziness surrounding the dress code and what is and isn’t within the guidelines. This topic has arisen yearly over one incident or another, and this year has proven no different. This year’s discussion was sparked by the recently-in-fashion ‘cold shoulder’ style shirt.

There might be some confusion about whether the ‘cold shoulder’ follows the dress code, so here’s a complete clarification about the General McLane dress code once and for all.

Associate Principal Ms. Mackowski is the staff member in charge of handing out disciplinary action for the violation of the dress code. When asked specifically about the dress code policy in regard to the cold shoulder shirt she stated, “There isn’t one.” She went on to explain that if the shirt being worn has sleeves, shows no midriff, does not possess an open back, covers your complete torso, no undergarments are showing, and it preserves one’s modesty then it’s compliant to the guidelines.

Therefore, the final word on the policy for the ‘cold shoulders’ is that they are permissible. With this being said, ‘preserving one’s modesty’ is subjective and may be open for interpretation. If one decides to wear the shirt style in question to school whether or not the shirt abides by the guidelines is left to teacher discretion. If a teacher deems the shirt or truly any other article of clothing inappropriate, that could potentially lead to a write up.

Being ‘dress coded’ can be a student’s worst nightmare. Before claiming to be ‘dress coded’ keep in mind that unless you are written up, sent to Ms. Mackowski, made to change, and receive a detention, then the action completed was simply a precautionary warning given about your wardrobe.

Many students will be quick to judge others’ clothing without consulting the dress code first. Many students also surely began the school year without consulting the dress code to determine what within their wardrobe is school appropriate. The dress code can be found on the high school website on page 40 of the student handbook. Handy reminders also appear in every classroom. Don’t give the dress code the cold shoulder–familiarize yourself with what is and what is not acceptable so you don’t fall victim to being ‘dress coded.’


General McLane School District believes that student manner of dress has an impact upon the atmosphere and consequently the learning environ. ment of its schools. It is the belief of the district that attire appropriate to the school environment serves to promote learning, minimize distractions and emphasize the seriousness of the learning process.

Specifically, students are expected to dress in a manner that adheres to the following guidelines:

• All shirts/tops/dresses must have sleeves. Clothing will completely cover the torso front and back (from the shoulders to the hemline). Necklines and hemlines should reflect an appropriate environment for learning not a social setting.
• All shorts, dresses and skirts must be at, or past, fingertip length.
• Clothing must be worn in such a way as to not expose undergarments.
• Clothing cannot present a hazard to the health or safety of the student or to others in the school, materially interfere with school work, create disorder, or disrupt the educational program.
• Clothing and accessories should not cause excessive wear or damage to school property or cause blocked vision or restricted movement. Specifically prohibited are exposed chains and metal spikes.
• Students may be required or permitted to wear certain types of clothing while participating in physical education classes, shops, extracurricular activities, or other situations where special attire may be required to insure the health or safety of the student.
• Hats are prohibited between the hours of 8am and 2:45pm.
• Any clothing of a sexual or violent nature or which promotes or advertises tobacco products, alcohol products or illegal drugs is also prohibited.
• All matters related to student dress not covered by this policy, shall be left to the discretion of the administration.

Consequences of violation of any of the above listed guidelines = change clothes and after school detention.