Junior Gracie Murray shows off her fashionable, in-dress code outfit for a warm weather day.
Photo By: Semay Alazar

Every year, minor edits are made to the RAHS dress code. But on 16 May 2018, the RAHS administration implemented big changes to the student handbook, including an AP Testing section and a Spirit Day section. In addition to all of these changes, the 2018-19 dress code will be entirely gender neutral.
Junior Nico Wilson became a member of the committee that helped form the new dress code because he felt it was important to share his insights, rather than being silently frustrated.
“I want to have a say in what kids get to wear,” said Wilson, “because no one else was going to take initiative. [I] was thinking ‘why not just take this easy opportunity to have a say in next years’ dress code?’ because I think we all care about it.”
While some may find the changes unnecessary, they were made for the sake of clarity and consistency.
“A lot of the changes this year in terms of wording were to make it simple, and to make it easy to follow so that there wasn’t so much verbiage and grey areas,” said Wilson. “We wanted to make it more clear so that people weren’t wasting time arguing with teachers about what they can and cannot wear.”
One of those grey areas that the dress code hasn’t really specified before is AP testing days. Without strict guidelines for these days, many students have taken the liberty to dress in casual or comfy clothing. The updated dress code provides directions for testing days in order for students to clearly know what is allowed.
“Students must comply with casual Friday dress standards: No leggings, No sweats, No pajama bottoms, No shorts,” according to the latest edition of the Student Handbook.
Even though he has yet to take an AP test, Freshman Noah Dooley will have to abide by these new standards when he does take them.
“I firmly believe that the dress code should be way looser for all major testing days,” said Dooley. “If the students are going to be going through miserable testing then they should at least be able to be comfortable when doing it. The students are going to be sitting still in an uncomfortable chair for a long period of time.”
While certain dress standards have been enforced by teachers during spirit weeks in prior years, this is the first version of the student handbook to include a specific spirit day section. It prohibits leggings, shorts, pajamas, and any other clothing that disrupts the learning environment.
Even though the intent was to make the expectations for attire more clear, Dooley feels as though the Spirit Day section subtracts from the purpose of the spirited event, and may have added a new grey area to the code.
“I think that the restrictions put in place are taking away from the fun of spirit week,” said Dooley. “I feel like the part that says ‘no clothing that otherwise disrupts the students learning environment,’ is going to be enforced however administration wants. It isn’t really defined so they can pick and choose what isn’t good for a students learning environment.”
In hopes to make the new dress code less biased against any gender, the new dress code is not gendered at all, and students are happy about it. Although, Dooley feels as though there are still some inconsistencies.
“In concept, I think that the idea is awesome. It will make the dress code be more fairly enforced for everybody,” said Dooley. “However, no guy is gonna wear a skirt to school. If skirts are allowed then shorts should also be allowed with the exact same restrictions.”
Despite any issues he still has with the dress code, Dooley feels that overall it is an improvement from prior years.
“I think that the dress code is going to be abided by a bit more. The part where it says that you can wear any solid color non-graphic t-shirt underneath an open button-up seems like its gonna be the new go-to thing to wear,” said Dooley. “Little things like this that are more relaxed make it easier for students, making it more likely that they will abide by the dress code.”