Student Involved in Dress Code Revision


Anna Thomas, Reporter

Katie Noble is a senior that used her leadership qualities in order to change a controversial Wake County policy, the dress code. Her innovation of the dress code caused a promising difference with students and how they choose to express themselves.

Her initiative gave her the ability to collaborate with other students who are strong like her.

“My junior year, I was called to the office by Mrs. Hamler. Automatically, I was panicking and I was thinking ‘Oh my God, what did I do? Am I in trouble,’” Noble said. “She told me that she chose me to become the junior class representative from WFHS on the Superintendent Select Leadership Committee.”

In the discussion on how the dress code could better show impartiality, different communities with separate temperaments and virtues were brought to light.

“One thing we talked about on the committee was making it more gender neutral. We felt as if the dress code targeted females,” Noble said. “We also wanted to specifically include a part protecting religious garments because we didn’t have a part stating, ‘Oh, these are allowed’, so we wanted more freedoms.”

The embracing of different trends is essential to creating one’s appearance and developing self esteem. Noble and others felt the 2018-19 code limited the ability to enjoy these trends.

“We all have these new fashions that we like and dress code is really restrictive,” Noble said.
Preconceived notions of some in the public suggests a seemingly uncontrolled lust is generated by females because of their fashion choices. As a result, the burden of these biases adjusted the way young women felt they could dress.

“I feel like it’s hard because females get sexualized, so sometimes depending on what a woman wears, people may make assumptions about her. It’s hard because I definitely feel as if it’s a social pressure,” Noble said.

Junior Sara Nyarangi praises the new dress code, but has questions.

“I feel great about how the new dress code turned out. I just wish that administration better enforced it,” Nyarangi said. “I got dress coded for showing my shoulders even though the dress code states that it’s not inappropriate. I’m not sure if it’s because administration isn’t up to date, but I think that they should read over it and be more aware. The new dress code is a big step up from the last, and I hope that they enforce it more.”

For Noble, everyone has physical characteristics that need to be catered to, but there’s a distinction between pertinence and tastelessness.

“Everybody has different body types, so I would say that all shorts should be allowed, but there’s definitely a fine line between being appropriate and being inappropriate,” Noble said. “I would like to think that people know when they’re dressing inappropriately because it is school, so there’s a fine line.”

For Junior Fatima Elhanouch, her lengthy stature did not offer many clothing choices through the previous dress code. The impending consequence of wearing something that did not reach the tip of her longest finger caused anxiety for her.

“I think that the dress code did not give me as many options for outfits to wear to school. I’m tall, so I used to not wear shorts because I would fear that I would get dress coded, but now I can wear them and relax throughout the day,” Elhanouch said.
Noble was proud of her contribution but felt that recognition did not go to where it was warranted.

“I feel like an unsung hero. I feel so proud because it was a lot of work and a lot of time and effort that went into making this change. Unfortunately, student council didn’t get any of this credit,” Noble said. “No one even knew that there was a student part. When I heard it on the news, I was excited to hear the students get mentioned, but they only mentioned the teachers and adults. It was the students who came up with the idea, and the adults that made it formal.”

Noble can now enjoy many of her clothes that previously were left at home.

“We’re in a progressive era, and for me, I love little bralettes and off the shoulder stuff, and I felt like I couldn’t do that. Most of the clothes I would wear on the weekends were completely appropriate, but I couldn’t wear them to school, and it was hard because I would have to resort to wearing t-shirts and leggings and shorts. I didn’t feel quite myself,” Noble said. “We all know that if you have that one outfit that makes you feel good, it makes your whole day better. That’s part of my feminine side. When I put on that outfit that makes me feel good, I feel good the whole day.”