People Are Praising This California School District For Their ‘Anti Dress Code

Over the years, schools across the country have gotten more and more strict with how they allow their students to dress. Looking back when people would show up pretty much barefoot to school in the ’70s, we’ve gotten to a point where the more a school can control how student’s dress, the more “comfortable” they feel about the learning experience they’re giving.
However, recently, we’ve seen more and more stories appear in the headlines where administrations have unjustly targeted women and people of color when it comes to disciplining “dress code violations.” Not only is it unfair, it’s also a huge distraction and waste of time in the timeline of a student’s education. The amount of time it takes to discipline the student, have them change, attend detention, have their parents called, etc. is equivalent to the valuable time they could be spending in the classroom.

To combat this, and the growing trend of body image issues amongst teens, one California school district is doing away with the rules and implementing an anti-dress code. Alameda Unified School District has officially implemented a new policy where the ability to judge an outfit on whether or not it’s “appropriate” is at the luxury of the student and their parents.

When explaining why they’ve decided to take on this way of thinking, the district explained on their website:

The rules were subjective in nature and resulted in inconsistent enforcement based on gender, body type, and maturity.

The rules were inconsistent with AUSD’s value of inclusivity.

The rules did not support student wellness and positive body image.

Additionally, the school district added:

Students also pointed out that the rules focused more on girls than boys and resulted in girls losing class time more often than boys (when they had to go to the office to change clothes or wait for a parent to bring alternative clothes, for instance). This raises education equity issues that we believe are important to resolve.

In addition, we now know that when student bodies and clothing are monitored and measured by school staff, students can end up feeling embarrassed or even ashamed. This can interfere with learning and contribute to negative body image.

However, the anti-dress code still has rules in place. Students can now wear crop-tops, skirts, shorts, and ripped jeans (even pajamas) at their leisure, but they must come to school wearing:

Bottoms, tops, shoes, and clothing that covers genitals, buttocks and areolae/nipples with opaque material.

Additionally, students are now allowed to wear:

Hats, including religious headwear; hoodie sweatshirts (overhead is allowed); fitted pants, including leggings, yoga pants, and skinny jeans; sweatpants; shorts; skirts and dresses; midriff-baring shirts; pajamas; ripped jeans, as long as underwear is not exposed; tank tops, including spaghetti straps, halter tops; and “tube” (strapless) tops.

However, students are by no means allowed to wear:

Violent language or images, and items depicting illegal activity, hate speech, profanity, or pornography. You also cannot have visible underwear or bathing suits of similar design. However, they specify that visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not a violation.

People online were impressed with the movement of this school district and thought that more schools should take notes.

Lex Gabrielle

A mom of two who loves to spend her free time writing about life, love, and all the little moments in between.

I have a bachelor’s degree in media studies and journalism and two master’s degrees in education. When I’m not writing and chasing my two kids around, I teach journalism full-time.