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  • Natalee Batangan

A look into dress code policies at Farrington High School

Students, teachers and staff address conflicts surrounding dress code policy at Farrington High School


The first dress code law came into effect with the Tinker v Des Moines case in 1969. The Supreme Court ruled that schools can limit student expression if there are concerns regarding distracting learning environments. This marked the birth of the ongoing debate on whether or not school dress codes should be put in place and enforced.


“Dress codes at Farrington High School are implemented to promote learning, safety, and image. Wearing clothing that mocks, ridicules, or displays words or expressions associated with alcohol, gangs, or drugs creates an uncomfortable environment,” states Larry Tamashiro, the Farrington High School Safety Manager.


“Following a disciplined routine [that] helps to build a sense of respect towards each other and be equipped to evolve in the real world.” Larry Tamashrio, Farrington High School Safety Manager

Critics of dress code rules are often cite problems of sexism, racism, and homophobia. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, dress codes are sometimes enforced more heavily on students of color and students of different religions and races. Fuatino Manu, a social worker at Farrington’s Teen Center shares her thoughts on the suitability of the dress code for students. “It’s suitable in the sense where it doesn’t discriminate against religion and race-wise, but I do feel like there is a bit more restriction on those who identify as female than those who identify as male,” Manu stated referring to transgendered students.


Manu reassures students that what they wear doesn’t necessarily determine their identity, it is simply a matter of student expression. The difficult part of this topic is trying to step in students’ shoes while also doing her job as staff by creating a safe and comfortable environment for learning.

“It’s important to address students with ease and understanding and let them know that this is what [dress code] is and what next steps to take.” Fuatino Manu, Farrington High School Social Worker

Similarly, Tamashiro believes that dress codes should be preparing students for the future, by “following a disciplined routine [that] helps to build a sense of respect towards each other and be equipped to evolve in the real world.”


On the other hand, a Sophomore at Farrington, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes that dress code shouldn’t limit student expression and should be enforced with consideration. “I got dress coded for wearing a crop top that showed my midriff. It was really hot and I was sweating, so I think it’s unreasonable to get dress coded just for that.”


Manu believes that her role as a staff at Farrington High School is to create a comfortable learning environment by imposing dress code standards, but to also be reasonable and fair when it comes to enforcing them. “It’s important to address students with ease and understanding and let them know that this is what [dress code] is and what next steps to take.”


Yet the big challenge for students and staff at Farrington High School awaits: addressing students’ concerns while taking steps toward a healthy school environment. Here at Farrington, students are currently trying to improve the dress code policies. Share your thoughts here to be a part of that discussion.

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