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Online dress code believed ineffective by some Bruins

Many students respect the dress code but believe that it’s pointless with students working from home. Photo by Sara Tate

Despite the school year beginning in a full distance learning module, Bear River’s typical dress code was said to be enforced, however students report that in the few weeks school has been in session, it has not been strictly enforced within Zoom classes.

During this time of distance learning, many students have resolved to work from the comforts of their home, as many as 68 percent of students, according to our Bear River Current Instagram poll, simply attending school Zoom classes in their sleep attire. 

Several students provided their input on the effectiveness of the dress code over an online platform.

“I think it [enforcing dress code] makes sense, but it’s a little ridiculous because we’re at home and you [administration] have no control over it,” said Junior Mariah Crandall.

“I find it kind of pointless because we are just on a call, so as long as we are wearing somewhat appropriate clothes, it should be fine,” said Senior Maddie Pratt.

“Personally, I couldn’t care less because for us it should just be normal, but I can understand that fellow students are a little aggravated at this because it is second sense to wear your pajamas at home,” said Freshman Elaine Owyoung.

“I believe that there’s not a huge dress code in our Zoom classes just because I feel like everyone is wearing what they slept in, but it looks like just regular clothes,” said Senior Emma Cutter.

Senior Marco Davis had a slightly different opinion than the previous students.

“I honestly wouldn’t mind or care for the dress code,” he said. “I always know that what I’m wearing is appropriate.”

Despite many students’ disapproving opinion of the enforcement of dress code during distance learning, Erin Beatie, Bear River Technical Theater teacher, emphasized on the importance of dress code.

“The Dress Code (even if it seems trivial at this age) is an education tool to remind you of the expectations beyond the walls of Bear River High School,” she said. “It is your educators and administrators allowing you a period of time where (hopefully) you can learn to understand the basic professionalism that is required from most businesses in order to show you are serious about acquiring that dream job regardless of your age. We want you to succeed!”

Furthermore, Daniel Bussinger, one of Bear River’s Spanish teachers, spoke of the responsibilities of a student and its connection with the dress code.

“I feel there is a social responsibility and a psychological/motivational aspect to dressing for school,” said Bussinger. “People who show up to school or Zoom classes are making a statement with their clothing and their background. Everyone sees them, so it is not subtle.”

He continued to elaborate upon how the dress code encourages a psychological educational benefit with students.

“If you take school seriously in your own mind, you will clean up and dress nicely because that is part of preparing for a productive day,” he said. “That will help you focus and get the most from your classes.”

Some of students elaborated upon why the dress code would still be enforced over Zoom, most of them describing the same sentiment of returning back to school.

“Maybe [they continue enforcing the dress code] just to keep us mindful [of how we dress] if we go back [to school],” said Pratt.

“Without enforcing it [dress code], students may make not wearing school appropriate clothes a habit that may or may not be kept when we return to school,” said Elaine Owyoung. 

“I think that the school still enforces the dress code because if they don’t, when we get back, kids will not listen to the dress code then,” said Cutter. “Also just because they don’t want people distracted on Zoom when they really can’t do anything about it.”

The first week of distance learning this year, students were informed of expected Zoom netiquette which worked towards “establishing a daily learning routine that is similar to what they [students] would be doing if they were attending school on campus,” as mentioned by United States History teacher Matt MacDonald. He also raised an opposing observation of the dress code’s enforcement compared to that of the students’.

“From my perspective, students have been very good about following the dress code thus far,” he said. “… I understand that it can be tempting for some students to attend their Zoom sessions in their pajamas. But the vast majority of people that I see in my meetings are sitting at a table or desk and are ready to learn.” 

Mrs. Beatie ended with a final thought towards how the dress code contributes to a student’s success.

“Regardless of being online or in person, take pride in yourself and the professional that you hope to become,” she said. “’Dress for success’ is not just a saying, it’s a mentality and a noticeable element of who you want to become.”

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Online dress code believed ineffective by some Bruins