Students Vow Mass Dress Code Disobedience
Hundreds of high school students in the Natrona County School District intend to disobey the new dress code when the school year resumes on Sept. 2, a Kelly Walsh High School student said Wednesday.
"Everybody, they're going to show up on the first day of school to break the dress code hopefully to prove a point to the teachers and the district that you can't exactly rule out our feelings about stuff," Cielo Guerra said.
"I'm pretty sure that at whatever board meeting they had, they didn't have any students like us who were up there talking about how we felt, because obviously if there was, no voices got heard," Guerra said.
Guerra, who will be a junior at Kelly Walsh, said wasn't aware the district's board of trustees had discussed the clothing and cell phone issues since early May. The trustees held two public hearings before its final vote to approve the new policies on June 8.
Officials from the district's administration, Natrona County High School and Kelly Walsh High School did not return calls Wednesday afternoon.
However, the principals of the district's high schools met with the trustees at their bimonthly meeting Monday and said they were ready to implement the new policy with its intent "to create a culture in schools where the focus is on learning.” The first few days will be difficult, they said, but the key will be consistency and acting immediately if there is a problem.
Guerra said school administrators won't be able to enforce the code on hundreds of protesting students.
He first learned about the dress code from his sister, Tricity, who created the Facebook page "Defiance against Natrona County dress code" about 2 a.m. Tuesday. By Wednesday evening, it had more than 1,800 members.
"I had no clue, not once, until my sister showed me her page," Cielo Guerra said. "I thought, 'well that's pretty messed up'. I feel like we should at least have known prior to it being passed."
Tricity Guerra's urged her fellow students "to show our school district that we are individuals who can dress how we'd like whether they like it or not. We have the right to dress how we want! Stand up for yourself and dress how you please!!"
Some of the discussions focused on how the rules seemed to apply more to girls than boys.
Some comments were philosophical: "We don't need to have dress codes. What we need is to teach people how to respect each other."
Some discussions devolved into name-calling and general profanity: "F--- the dress code juss [sic] don't follow it."
Some commenters agreed students shouldn't wear short shorts or revealing clothing, but thought the ban on leggings and tank tops was dumb.
Some thought the students were going overboard: "Sure the dress code is dumb but you're all acting like its the end of the world."
And some comments from current and former students tried to view the issue from the district's intent of fostering a culture of learning: "The dress code is a choice between the pride you take in your education and the pride you take in your individual apperance [sic]. Choose."
And high school is just the beginning for learning that life isn't easy, another wrote: "Don't worry, Monday through Friday sucks for the next 5 decades too."