Turning Pilgrim’s Uniform Inside Out

February 25, 2017

Dress Code Addresses Issues

A tradition at Pilgrim School is our required uniform. There are both good and bad consequences of having a dress code.  There were slight changes made to the dress code before the start of this school year.  One important change is the elimination of any rules about hair length and color.   Another meaningful difference from last year is that the uniform is the same for all genders.

One of the main advantages of Pilgrim’s dress code is that no one will get judged for their appearance or what type of clothes they have.

I sat down with the head of the Secondary School, Ms. Coley, and she explained why she thinks we need a dress code at Pilgrim.

“We have a dress code for several reasons. Although I was not here [at Pilgrim] when it was put in place, the reason why I think it is good to have a dress code is because there are some standards for what is appropriate.”  Ms. Coley added that when the dress code was put in place then-Head of School Mr. Brooks believed a uniform helps security guards know who is a student. Also, there is no competition or students getting embarrassed about their choices

According to Middle School science teacher Ms.Logue, having a dress code reduces peer pressure and makes everyone feel equal.

Dean of Students Ms. McLoughlin added “ Pilgrim School is one of the independent schools that requires a uniform for students. It’s a part of the history of this school. Students can engage in their learning if they are dressed in a uniform.”

I have experienced a school uniform for the past year and a half, after six years without one in elementary school. Sometimes on free dress days, I do feel jealous of of other people’s clothing choices. They are comfortable with wearing short skirts. I think that the uniform has changed a lot in many good ways.

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    Dress Code Cons

    Something special about Pilgrim is the community and its ability to make students feel cared for and loved. However, one thing that causes a lot of disruption in the school is the dress code. Students don’t like the way that the rules are enforced and look down on the restrictions.

    Some students think that the required uniform pieces are not only expensive but not very comfortable to wear during the day. Some teachers do physical activities as a way for the students to become grounded and more focused, and the uniforms don’t allow the students to move around completely.  Some students also believe that the dress code takes away their chances to express themselves.

    One restriction that Ms. McLoughlin has commented on is the college sweatshirt requirement. “The college sweatshirt requirement…”goes against the uniform . . . it’s not fair to everyone and it doesn’t make the student body unified.”  This rule seems a little hypocritical because not everyone ends up looking the same which was the goal of the uniform in the first place.

    When talking to some students around school, a common opinion that the reporter heard was that people wanting to be able to wear a non-uniform jacket, but they don’t own a college sweatshirt.

    Some of the students think that with this rule, the secondary administrative team is restricting one of the few ways that students can express their individuality through what they wear. Pilgrim is a very accepting and welcoming school and to expand on that Pilgrim should let students show and express their individuality

    The dress code at Pilgrim School is something that makes the school a lot more united. However, there is a lot more that goes into the dress code than many may think. The requirements get thought and effort by both teachers and students, and because of the great amount of effort the dress code is probably not going anywhere.

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