To mask or not: Dress code overshadowed

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For students at Etowah, uniforms have never been a part of the school supply list. As students step off the bus or car and into the classroom, many are thankful for the lenient regulation of their outfits, especially during a school year already overwhelmed with COVID-19 regulations, schedule changes, and the ongoing threat of being online for a two-week quarantine looming constantly 

Students, especially girls, have made note of peers being more willing to push their limits.  

“Sometimes girls’ shorts are really short or tight,” Jordyn Jones, freshman said. 

Even as students choose to break dress code more often or by a greater degree, little in the classroom has changed. 

“I don’t think it [breaking dress code] affects my learning when girls or anyone wears shorts,” Jesse McDonald, junior, said.  

Some students that have taken note of the decrease in frequency of dress code citations have theories on how this may correlate to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Teachers are definitely dress coding less than last year because the school probably just doesn’t think it’s worth causing an issue when people don’t wear masks but can’t be dress coded for that,” Caroline Byars, sophomore, said.  

Although the dress code specifically targets supposed distractions such as outfits that expose too much skin or have inappropriate references, nowhere in Cherokee County’s district manual has a change been made to require masks.  

“It makes no sense because not wearing a mask could actually hurt someone or their family if you get them sick, but shorts or crop tops don’t have that power. It’s just silly overall,” Katie Bonsall, senior, said. 

 Upperclassmen in particular have seen this change from the stricter regulations of past years, and some have particularly positive feelings about the increased freedom. 

“The first priority should always be the education and safety of students. I have yet to see an outfit that threatens either,Sophia Younts, senior, said.  

Most students can agree on one thing: this year has been stressful for both teachers and students.  

“Teachers are overwhelmed,” Neal O’Connor, freshman, said. 

With so much going on in and out of school, it is convenient for many to wear what is comfortable. For more details on the county’s dress code policy, visit the Etowah website