Spirit Week dress codes cause slight controversy

Megumi Kamikawa


Spirit Week, held on the week of October 20, 2014, is one of American High School’s most popular annual week-long events. Some of the main highlights of the week include cultural performances during rallies and themed dress-up days, which are set within the limits of the school district’s standard dress code.

Originally, the Spirit Week dress code hasn’t been much of an issue within the school. Certain uniforms and costumes are often allowed to closely replicate the original fashion choices of the different cultures and dances represented during the rallies.

“We try to keep the costumes within the dress code’s realm as best as we can,” Assistant Principal Kristina Palos said. “Cultural costumes are something definitely worth talking about. There’s a difference between a planned presentation or performance on stage and fashion choices that might distract students during class.”

However, a few concerns within the senior rally belly dance caused some issues between performers and the dress code. Belly dance choreographer senior Sara Tribble voiced her opinion on the code’s restrictions upon their uniforms, which had initially shown parts of the midriff.

“I understand that the dress code exists for a specific reason, and I do not disagree with it,” Tribble said. “The dress code serves a useful purpose, however I believe that it should not be so strictly enforced if there is a legitimate purpose behind bending the rules. Upon finding out that the performers were not allowed to wear the costumes, our entire group of dancers was disappointed. We had to scramble to find a quick fix to the problem that wouldn’t make our costumes appear ridiculous.”

One of the senior class senators, Anika Balse, had to confront these issues brought up amongst the senior rally dance costumes. According to her, the senior class appeared to not care about the rules or potential disqualification.

“It was difficult having to be the voice for both the administration and the students,” Balse said. “While I wanted to support the students who were trying the preserve the authenticity of the dance, I also wanted to abide by school rules and make sure no one would get in trouble.”

Spirit Week Dress Code Picture 2
“I know a lot of people were tempted with breaking dress codes and standard rules,” Balse said. “I feel like they punish us or stop us from wearing certain things for the wrong reasons, even though there should be a limit of what students are allowed to wear.”

On the other end of the Spirit Week spectrum, the themed days are incorporated into Spirit Week as a creative form of promoting unified school spirit. According to Palos, themes are typically discussed with ASB prior to advertising, when they adjust ideas accordingly to the dress code.

“We try to base the theme days on fun and easy ideas so students don’t have to go to Halloween stores and buy $60 costumes or anything like that,” ASB Advisor Chris Fulton said. “We still want people to dress up and show spirit, just under the dress code.”

Most students, like Tribble and Balse, agree on the importance of the dress code, but many come to the consensus that it should be less restrictive.


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