Punishments for Improper Uniform are Unfair

By Meredith Farrington, Assistant Features Editor

In recent weeks, the administration has put in place updated uniform policies, including new punishments for violations of the handbook. The new policy states that students will receive lunch detentions for minor infractions, such as improper skirt length, and if the violation continues they will be called in front of the Conduct Review Committee (CRC). The punishment for minor infractions of the dress code should not be dealt with by the CRC but rather handled in a more appropriate manner that does not judge the students so harshly. 

Traditionally, a meeting with this committee has only been called in the case of major breaches of the Code of Conduct, such as substance abuse or cheating; now, however, it can occur with a student’s habitual violation of the uniform code, which the administration sees as “disrespectful to the community.” The CRC, which consists of three faculty members and two senior students, will meet with the student and her parents to discuss how the student should proceed and what her punishment will entail. While several students have received lunch detentions for uniform violations, to date none have been brought in front of the CRC. 

Although students should not disobey the uniform rules, students should not face such serious consequences on account of their skirt length or sock color. The current rule is that a student’s skirt should be no more than two inches above her knee, but is it fair that wearing a skirt marginally above that length can result in lunch detention or, eventually, an appearance before the CRC?

Something as arbitrary as a two-inch cutoff in skirt length should not be justification for such a severe punishment. The administration has said that a skirt shorter than the allowed two inches is a sign of disrespect to the entire community. By penalizing students for showing a small amount of skin, however, some students feel as if the administration may go too far in the other direction by sending the message that uniforms are more important than the academic success of its students. 

Students have different opinions on the subject, but some believe that the policy has not been equally enforced amongst all students. “The rule itself is not discriminatory, but the way it is only enforced upon certain girls is,” junior Brynn McGuiness said. 

Trinity Hall is a center for female empowerment and a place where girls can grow into women and become the best possible version of themselves. The punishments linked to the policy can be detrimental to that goal, as they have caused some girls to feel as they have been judged based upon their body rather than their character. 

“If they are going to enforce the rule, it should be enforced for everyone, not just the specific girls whose body types make the difference more noticeable,” junior Cecilia Peters said.

Although they are meant to keep order in the community, these harsh punishments for uniform violations are reminiscent of old-school, outdated tactics that can prevent young girls from becoming strong and successful women. Students should be reprimanded for not following the uniform requirements but not to the same degree of more serious offenses such as bullying and cheating, thus the punishment for minor infractions such as skirt length should not be dealt with by the CRC. 

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