Dress Code: Air Academy’s Concerns


Junior Deanna Ponce’s cat, Charley, graciously shows off her owner’s closet.

Every day students walk through the halls of Air Academy High School dressed in everything from the latest fashion trends to comfy clothing. They attend with the expectation to learn, however, when some kadets are stopped over concerns about their outfit, confusion hits.

At AAHS, rules are listed through the 2021-2022 student handbook. Among the pages is the dress code that students must abide by. However, many students like junior Tabitha Brand have expressed discontentment towards it.

“One of the biggest issues I see with the dress code is how it’s enforced, I believe that the intent of it is good but the execution is simply just awful,” Brand stated. 

Brand’s opinion isn’t unique; across the school students have noticed the dress code being inconsistently enforced. Junior Kaden Soul has witnessed this first hand.

 “I’ve seen some boys [wearing] the smallest little shorts, collars with leashes, and [they have] never gotten dress coded, but the moment a woman is showing like 2 inches of skin she gets dress coded,” Soul said. 

The student handbook acknowledges that kadets do have the right to express themselves through their choice of clothing as long as they’re not disruptive. It is further specified that vulgar and revealing items are not acceptable.

“I understand the concern about professionalism but using that logic, nobody would wear a suit to school and call it professional, would they? In addition to this, I see kids every day in the hallways wearing full pajamas, and the staff says nothing, those certainly wouldn’t be worn in a business environment,” Brand commented.

It can be agreed upon by most students, such as Brand, that having a dress code is necessary for setting boundaries. However, it’s important that those rules aren’t too harsh.

“While I believe the dress code should exist, I think some leniency regarding tank tops and exposed midriff should be implemented,” Brand continued.

Part of the student handbook can be preserved as indirectly aimed towards women. Specifically when it states that clothing that reveals part or all of the stomach, chest, or buttocks is not allowed. Also, anything sheer, short, tight, or low-cut.

“The ‘distractions’ that the teachers think girls are causing couldn’t be more false. Whenever I’ve talked to any boy they’ve never expressed that they’ve been distracted,” Soul explained. 

“Nobody should be allowed to wear a shirt with racial slurs on it or come to school in nothing but underwear, but when it comes to 2 inches of midriff I believe the line has been crossed,” Brand added.

With student concerns being expressed, are there any suggestions for improvement?

“Improvements made can be to not be incredibly biased or have the most stupid rules which are specifically for [women],” Soul suggested. 

Although the dress code has been discussed for years amongst kadets, many like Soul and Brand have decided to use their voice in order to see change.

“Air Academy is filled with hundreds of kids, each with their unique style, not one conforming mass. Within our generation especially the urge to express ourselves is strong, the dress code restricts our rights to do that,” Brand voiced.