Dress code

By admin

Posted: February 23, 2011

Staff Editorial

Ripped jeans, low-cut tops, and baggy pants are the typical dress code violations we tend to see. The dress code at Minnehaha has always been questioned by students and many are convinced that the rules, as currently written by the school, aren’t always fair. Currently, a revised dress code is in the process of being developed and will be implemented next year.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “fair” is defined as “marked by justice, honesty and freedom from bias.” The definition of “rule” is: “a statement spelling out the proper procedure or conduct for an activity.” So, are these “fashion statements” that are conducting our actions free from bias? This is probably one of the biggest controversies revolving Minnehaha’s dress code: everything seems to be so subjective. How can we follow the dress code completely if everyone views it differently?

Every few years the dress code is revisited and revised in order to make sure it is meeting the current needs of the school. “When the dress code rules were written, styles were different,” said Matthew Ridenour , Social Studies teacher and a member of the committee reviewing the policy. “Certain things that were deemed potentially inappropriate then might now be more acceptable.”

He also added that the some rules were unenforceable because they were either so subjective or the wording was too vague. An example of a problematic rule is clothes that “attract undue attention” are unacceptable. So, does that mean there’s a “right” amount of attention students should be drawing to themselves? What seems to be inappropriate to one person can be completely acceptable to another.

The Task Forces

Student interns received notes on their lockers informing them that they had been chosen by the dean of students, Lance Johnson, to be a part of a “student task-force,” that would be reviewing the dress code.

“I chose seniors because they are able to look back at their life here at Minnehaha with some experience and say what they believe to be important for our school,” said Johnson,”They also essentially have nothing at stake because they’re going to be gone the next year, so I think they can truly determine what they think is best for our school.”

The task force consists of: Kwesi Hinson, Nicole Roth, Bjorn Anderson, Ella Ostlund, Christine Teasdale, Kelsey Miller and Nate Brown. These students met multiple times over a period of several weeks. Their first meeting consisted of examining each part of the dress code and making notes on what needed clarification, such as the rule against “excessively tight clothing.” How tight is too tight?

The second meeting was deciding whether or not to implement uniforms, which was a unanimous “no.” After these first couple meetings, the rest were devoted to re-writing the dress code. The student task force also sent out surveys to random junior and senior homerooms to receive their feedback on the dress code.


Faculty and student task forces met separately to discuss suggestions, and then collaborated. The task force made a mock-up dress code which consisted of rules they deem appropriate and necessary. The mock-up was given to Lance Johnson and faculty members for review. The faculty and student task-forces found that their ideas were quite similar. However, since the details are still being discussed, the team members were unwilling to disclose further information.

We, as the Talon staff, feel that it was a smart move to have the interns be the ones discussing the dress code. They are all aware of what is going on in the school and are a group of students that are reliable, trustworthy and would take these meetings seriously. However, we devised our own set of revisions to the dress code.

Yoga Pants

Walking up the stairs to class is already unenjoyable, so having a girl’s nearly transparent leggings in front of you doesn’t make matters any better. It would be preferable that leggings cannot be see-through, and if they are, you should have something completely covering your butt.

There’s also an issue with the “tightness” of leggings and jeans. Cramming your lower-half into pants that don’t exactly fit isn’t appealing to anyone. Plus, shirts that are “excessively tight,” are deemed inappropriate by the current dress code.

The Merriam Webster definition of “tight” is: “closely packed, very full.” This seems to sum it all up. If you’re falling out of a shirt in any way, or it comes way above your belly button when you reach for something, it’s most likely a bit too small for you. Time to go shopping.

This leads us to the next point: sweatshirts and shirts aren’t dresses, and they shouldn’t be worn as so. If you’re wearing a sweatshirt or shirt, it wouldn’t hurt to throw on some pants as well.

Scarves for coverage

Scarves can be glamorous, fashionable and a fun addition to a winter outfit for the girls. However, scarves have developed a new purpose over these past couple years. Scarves are now being used to cover up what is being completely exposed underneath them.

Shirts need to be pulled up and over cleavage because “surprisingly” they don’t do a good job of covering everything. The only thing they help you do is avoid getting a detention.

Holes in jeans

Traditionally, holes in jeans have not been allowed. We can understand massive holes on the butt pockets of your pants or on the thighs; however, small holes and rips should be acceptable. If the hole is one inch or less and is at the knee or lower, it should be considered appropriate.


Ladies, regardless of how many times you pull the straps of your tank tops and undergarments back under your shirt, they still peek out. It looks messy, tacky and it really hurts to have someone come by and snap one. You can be negatively perceived when you have everything hanging out. Put on a sweater if you’re wearing a top that may reveal your straps, or wear a shirt that will cover everything.

Modesty is the best policy. Why you ask? Well, let’s put it this way. If you dress revealing you will receive the derogatory whistle from guys, which clearly shows you’re presenting yourself in a bad manner. It will be difficult to differentiate true friendships from false friendships in which you are only “appreciated” for your flaunting what most really don’t want to see.


As for the boys, many of us have seen way too much underwear popping out of your pants lately. You can pull your pants up as many times as you want throughout the day but it doesn’t improve the situation for more than five minutes. The entire class doesn’t need to see that you’re trying to rock the “Spongebob” boxers one day and tie-dye the next.

Guys can become perceived as not caring about their appearance at all, causing them to look, as the dress code currently states, “sloppy.” Sometimes this trend can even lead to indecent exposure. Boys will see their target and pull a classmates pants down knowing that it would be just that easy.

So, to avoid “looking like a fool with your pants on the ground,” buy your correct jean size or here’s a thought: buy a belt. Regardless of what guys may think, this look is actually not attractive. You may think girls like it but that’s false. Not cute.

Sweat Pants

If you feel like being comfy for the day, we believe pajama pants are completely fine to wear. They aren’t super tight, they wouldn’t have any holes in them and it’s essentially like wearing sweatpants. Sweatpants are also good to go.

Finals week, Mondays and Fridays are the perfect opportunity to just stay in those comfy clothes and who feels like getting dressed up on those days anyways? Just make sure that you look presentable and clean. No stains on your clothing from last night’s dinner or sweat marks in the armpits of your clothing from your game last week. Please.


Our school has been fairly lenient about our choices in our dress code. We aren’t restricted on having piercings, wearing makeup, growing our hair long and we aren’t required to all show up to school in the famous button down white shirts, khaki shorts and brown shoes.

The Minnehaha administration wants its students to look presentable and not allow clothing to be a distraction during classes. We have been given a lot of freedom and therefore we need to be thankful for that, by following the new rules or guidelines that will be set before us the next school year.

-Talon Staff

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