The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Petition Forms Asking Carlsbad High School to Alter Dress Code

Kyle Turner
Students display the common strap rule in dress codes.

Dress codes have become the norm at schools across the United States. Dress codes are a set of rules, usually written and posted, specifying the required manner of dress at a school or institution.  

A petition formed by Carlsbad High senior, Alex Brown, urging a change in the dress code has floated around Carlsbad High and accumulated over 870 signatures from students in all grades.

The petition calls for changes in the permitted dress attire monitored by the school. This petition made waves throughout the school and caused administration to potentially consider the changes offered from the petition.   

Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) sent representatives to CHS’s English classes to speak about dress code policies. Some students, however, were rubbed the wrong way when they were told that the dress code would be more strictly enforced.

“The dress code sends a direct attack on girls and their freedom to express themselves through clothing being stripped away by their high school,” Brown said, the architect behind the petition.

After the representatives gave their speeches, Brown decided to lead the coalition of protesters seeking change in the way schools judge what is and what isn’t appropriate.

Brown represented the students of CHS at a CUSD board meeting where she voiced her opinion to the decision makers of the Carlsbad Unified School District.

“I am not here to just question the stricter enforcements of the dress code, but to question why a dress code is needed at all. A key lesson that I learned throughout my life is that if someone is going to be sexist, offensive, or inappropriate, it really doesn’t matter what the victim is wearing,” Brown said at the podium.   

Torrey Pines High School and San Marcos High School also followed in the footsteps of Brown’s petition and began their own petitions. Some have sent persuasive essays to their school’s administration.

Grace Klemmer, a sophomore at San Marcos High, wrote an essay, “The Sexism Behind School Dress Codes,” which addressed the belief that the dress code implemented by schools nationwide only targets female students.

“I am very passionate about equality, so getting rid of the dress code is something I’m very passionate about, and hearing that schools like CHS are taking a stand is really encouraging,” Klemmer said.

She is not alone in that belief. Makalya Engebrits is a junior at Carlsbad High, and her signature was also on the petition.

“I do believe that girls are picked on more for the dress code and that it should be equal for boys and girls,” Engebrits said.

CHS senior Kalee Graff also expressed her displeasure with the dress code and was also one of the many signatures on the petition.

“We are almost or already adults and we still have to be guided on what we wear because of the ‘distraction’ it makes for guys? Guys are guys and [girls] shouldn’t be punished for it,” Graff commented.

Not every student agrees with the reasoning behind the petition, however. Some girls just want to wear strapless shirts that only reveal shoulders, others want more. That is where school administrations have tried to draw the line for years.

Mackenzie Huemoeller, a junior at CHS, signed the petition but does not want the dress code to be completely abolished.

“I support [the petition] and I do not support it at the same time because it does need to be updated. I think that the dress code is good under some circumstances, [as] some people would take advantage of no dress code,” Huemoeller said.  

The effects of the petition have even made their way to Sage Creek High School as well. Olivia Pomerleau, a junior at Sage Creek, believes that the dress code is completely necessary and that if a dress code isn’t enforced, more issues will arise.

“This petition that is going around Carlsbad is overkill. The dress code does allow girls to express themselves, but it also keeps them modest,” Pomerleau said.    

“I think it’s pointless honestly,” said Ethan Sakata, a junior at Sage Creek. “I give Alex Brown and the girls at CHS props for trying to instill change, but I don’t really see it working out and I don’t believe that it should be changed in the first place.”

Editor’s Note: The title has since been updated from “Petition Forms After Carlsbad High School Alters Dress Code” to “Petition Forms Asking Carlsbad High School to Alter Dress Code”. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.

View Comments (16)

Comments (16)

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  • A

    AnthonyNov 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I agree that some girls would abuse the dress code if it was not in place, but most girls don’t seem to abuse this. As a guy myself I can say that some outfits are kinda distracting, but i’m still a straight A student. Anyways, it doesn’t seem fair that the dress code only seems to affect girls, since men’s clothing doesn’t usually reveal the body. I’m going to sign any petition to change the dress code, and I might even wear girl’s clothing to protest!

  • S

    SebastianOct 26, 2017 at 7:22 am

    I wonder what parts of the dress code people want removed? Of course, bans on derogatory and inane clothing should stay, but where do most people want the line drawn?

  • S

    Sam BodnarOct 25, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Other than some awkward phrases here and there & a quote stack of opposite viewpoints with no transition, I am inclined to agree that this article is, in fact, not biased. It does not sway the readers either way. It presents the issue, multiple standpoints from both ends, and does not attempt to analyze the quotes to add or devalue them.

    Some perspective from the ADMIN at SCHS or the CUSD district would have been nice, but that said, pretty solid work Jake.

  • B

    Ben EllingtonOct 24, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    This article is well written, but very biased. Yes, there are people from both sides of this conversation, but the most you get is “I don’t really care” from Ethan. Ms. Brown and the other students state that the dress code is profoundly sexist as it only targets the female demographic. You want to know why that is? Because females are more likely to challenge and break the dress code than males are. I could be wrong, but have you ever seen a guy walking around in a shirt that exposes the back, or have you seen anyone sag their pants at Sage? Probably not. Ms. Graff questions why the school forces dress code to tell almost-adult people how to wear their clothes, and why it would be “distracting” to boys. How does she know that guys aren’t distracted by her appearance? She fails to grasp the fact that she doesn’t know if someone is distracted, and she assumes it is non-existent.

    • T

      TinaOct 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Everyone has shoulders and a belly button. Their existence and visibility should not be shocking and nor should it be distracting, that’s the whole point of what Kalee is saying. By banning their appearance on school grounds, the administration is acknowledging and accepting the over sexualization of women. In no way are these body parts sexual, yet they are forbidden from being shown on campus by an overbearing dress code claiming that they distract other students when uncovered. Teenage boys may be full of hormones and easily distracted but this should not elicit the suppression of other students’ freedom of expression. By upholding a dress code requiring the arbitrary coverage of nonsexual human body parts we are punishing young women finding their identity instead of educating young men on the difficult-to-discover difference between breasts and a scapula, since it seems some people fail to grasp the fact that they are, in fact, very different body parts.

      • D

        Darius RahmanianOct 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm

        I personally do not understand the issue. Once again people who claim they are “progressive” are just making a non issue an issue. If there are rules in an institution of education and instinctively break those rules to look “cute” as some one else put it, then you are going to get in trouble. But you see the thing is teachers do not enforce dress code that often, unless its an extreme case or blatantly breaks it. If you just stop and look around a classroom, I bet you could at least get 4 or 5 cases of broken dress code if it was enforced and they could send whoever broke it to go change. It is sexism if administrators go out of their way to just target women for being women . I am not sure if anyone has realized, but guys don’t strip down to potentially exposing clothing after it gets 3 degrees hotter than usual.

        So if you are getting ready in the morning, maybe think to yourself “is this appropriate by school dress code so I do not get in trouble?” Instead of just screaming MUH SEXISM, MUH WHITE MALES OBJECTIFYING WOMEN. I can tell you that from just listening to guys talk, that yeah they do in fact like to look at girls bodies. Its only natural, and dudes are not trying to objectify you when, by some social standard, you are wearing something “appealing” to the male sexual organ. Guys will look and it can be considered distracting, thus a detriment to the learning environment.

        There is also a significant difference in the way society finds a man attractive, which is usually well dressed and professional. So I doubt if a guy wanted to look “handsome” or “cute” he would not wear booty shorts or the dreaded “shoulder bearing” shirts. SO he is not going to get dress coded for his “expression” because his “expression” doesn’t break the rules. Public High School is still a regulated environment with rules and standards. This ain’t your spicy club down in downtown or your friends Halloween palooza, this is a learning environment.

        When it comes to “body parts” being nonsexual you are completely wrong, as there is a whole range of fetishes and desires one may have, so just dismissing it is intolerant in itself. Seeing as eyes or lips or even ones posterior can attract one of the other sex and can be considered a social criteria to some downright disproves the statement that boys have no right to infringe ON MUH BODY with their eyes. I am not sure you have ever talked to every guy about their sexual desires or preferences so saying that the midriff or bellybutton does not attract specific people is wrong.

        Guys are guys, and girls are girls. Its only natural that dudes will look at what girls have to offer and vice versa, but school is not the time to work the camera or display your bodily expression. So stop making non issues into issues and fanning the flame of dissent and drawing lines in the sand of MUH SEXISM. Guys are not out to visually assault women and neither is the School and I do believe that is that.

  • M

    Mia BodnarOct 23, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Dress code IS sexist. How are my stomach and my shoulders distracting to your learning? No one is going to look at a girl’s shoulders and be like “oh dang that shoulder is hot, I can’t focus.” It is also disrespectful to women to assume that we wear tank tops, crop tops, and short shorts to get attention. We either wear them because it’s hot, or because we think we look cute in it. It is not our goal in life to get attention and distract you from your learning. Instead of judging girls and over sexualizing us, how about look at what’s in our hearts and minds, not at what we’re wearing. I hope this helps with perspective. (;

  • C

    ConnorOct 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    There is a CHS football game tonight. If you are going to see it, go with the following information: It will be 65 degrees and dropping. A SHORT SLEEVE/LONG SLEEVE SHIRT and PANTS are what people should wear for 65 degrees when it is dark, both guys and girls. Conduct your own research on how many people come with less clothing. You can post your findings here. This way people can determine for themselves the real reason that people dress the way they do. if it is significantly high then there is clearly a problem. Maybe i’m wrong, maybe i’m right.

  • J

    Jake McAllisterOct 20, 2017 at 9:00 am

    How is this one sided? It’s a news story and has an argument from both perspectives, make sure you read thoroughly next time.

    • S

      SebastianOct 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

      One might call this article one-sided because the argument for keeping the present dress code is weaker and less established throughout the article than the anti-dress code argument. Apologies for repetition.

      Something somewhat related in your article that I have a question about is the quote in paragraph nine. What about the aggressor wearing offensive, derogatory, or inflammatory clothing? Why is a dress code needed at all, says Alex Brown. It weakens her argument to have said that.

      • S

        SebastianOct 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        Personally, I think the two groups should internally consolidate and be able to speak, fractured but whole, when it is required of them. If the district decides to look into this, there is no way to satisfy everyone, and it makes it easier to be able to listen to only two arguments rather than everyone from the apathetic to the empathetic.

  • E

    EthanOct 19, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Something I noticed, I think you should describe the changes the dress code made instead of leaving the reader to make an assumption that the only thing it did was ban things specified later. It would be much more reader-friendly if there was more than “…CHS changed their dress code, students petitioned…”

    • G

      Gavin SolarezOct 19, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      I don’t think that the dress code should be the way it is now. It should be way looser. I am a freshman at sage creek high school.I went to calavera hills middle and when I was in 8th grade I colored my whole entire arm in sharpie at home. It looked very very cool. It looked like stained glass but I came to school in a tank top so that my arm would be fully exposed and I got dress coded for have sharpie on my arm. Not even for the tank top which is in the dress code . It was one of the most stupidest things I have ever had to deal with on the dress code. I know many girls that got dress coded any no guys that dress coded , the dress code is way sexist. Women wanted equal rights but they still haven’t gotten them. Didn’t they get the equal rights last year so why is the dress code still extremely sexist.

  • K

    Kara PrinceOct 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

    This is a supposed to be a new but it seems very onesided.

    • J

      Joey BabcockOct 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that…

  • I

    Isabelle CurranOct 19, 2017 at 10:45 am

    If it’s hot out girls are going to wear shorts and tank tops. It’s bound to happen. Much like guys wear shorts when it is hot out as well. I understand dress code is important and “needs” to happen at schools but I believe to a certain extent; if someone were to personally pull a girl aside while walking to class that is disruptive to her school life. In my opinion girls don’t wear leggings to distract boys on campus, we wear them because they’re comfortable. We don’t wear shirts that show our shoulders to keep boys from their learning. What we put on our own bodies is our choice and I really don’t think there’s anything else to it / any ulterior motive.