Students Launch Petition to Change The Dress Code

Murray, NEB- A group of Conestoga students have started a petition asking school administrators and the Board of Education to change the dress code. The petitioners feel that the dress code, which is outlined in the student attire section of the 2021-2022 Student-Parent Handbook, includes gendered language that disproportionately affects female and LGBTQIA+ students.

The dress code has been a topic of discussion in the halls of Conestoga Jr/Sr High all year and even in years past. Students and alumni have expressed their concerns in a variety of ways. In November, the school newspaper published an Op-Ed questioning the objectivity of dress codes and later that month a student or students posted a written letter on the door of the building’s main office.

The petition is seen by students as a way to change the dress code without disrupting the educational environment for their peers. It has been circulated online largely using apps like Instagram and Twitter to reach a wider audience.

They call for a new dress code in the petition and attach a rewritten policy proposed by students at the top. The policy is influenced by recommendations from the National Education Association, ACLU, Seattle Public Schools, Counselors Not Cops, and Evanston Township High School. Changes would include adding language protecting minority students, shifting personal responsibility, and removing language they feel is directed towards a particular gender.

The student petitioners are currently working cooperatively with school administrators to find a change that will be beneficial for everyone in the learning community, but it’s unclear what the outcome will be.