By Alissa Cavaretta
Hahnville High Schoolís homecoming dance is scheduled for this Saturday and some female students have said that they will not be attending this yearís festivities because of the new dress code policy.
Over the summer, students received a letter in the mail regarding all of the new rule changes. Many female students were outraged when they read that all dresses and skirts must reach the knee for formal school events, such as dances, Ring Night and award ceremonies.
Kaylin Parker, a senior at Hahnville, admits that she is nervous about getting into the dance because her dress comes just slightly above the knee, but she says that she would wear that dress to church.
"Nobody gets hurt by wearing a dress that shows a little bit of leg. If girls want to look trashy, then they are only embarrassing themselves," she said.
Prior to the change, girls were allowed to have dresses and skirts that were two inches above the knee, but people were taking advantage of the rules.
"Last year, you could walk into homecoming and be very close to seeing parts of girls that should have been clothed better. It is necessary to have this rule for some people, and itís those people who are going to say, ĎIím going to homecoming in this dress, which obviously does not fall to my knee,í" Hahnville student Bodie Dufrene said. "Then those people are the ones who get mad whenever Mr. Oertling (HHS principal) doesnít let them in. There are rules that have to be followed in life and this is one of them. Girls need to respect their bodies."
But Parker said it can be difficult to find attractive dresses that come down to the knee.
"Every girl wants to feel pretty, especially for homecoming, and itís not always possible when you have to shop in the womenís department," she said. "We are teenagers. There has to be other effective ways to regulate length without making girls feel like they are attending their 50th class reunion."
Many students have voiced their opinion about changing the rule back to two-inches above the knee or possibly even a fingertip rule, where a studentís dress or skirt must reach the end of their middle finger whenever the student is standing up straight.
"As students, we have the ability to change any particular rule by going to HAT (Hahnville Advisory Team) meetings, yet instead of trying to fix what they think is broken, they just complain," senior student council member Nicole Stebbins said.
Stebbins said that Ken Oertling, principal of Hahnville High School, welcomes the idea of students bringing new ideas to the table at HAT meetings. Therefore, any student wishing to make a rule change should contact a student council representative with their scheme so the representative can pitch the plan to Hahnville faculty.
Some students, such as Courtney Bergeron and Jamie Lotz, have chosen to accept the rule with open arms.
"While the new dress code is not my favorite thing in the world, I understand that it was put into place so that there would be a base line for dress code," Bergeron said. "We are still allowed to show self-expression and individualism with the changes."
Lotz agreed and said that the rule could have been much worse.
"You have to look at the bright side; we could have not had a homecoming dance all together," she said. "There are more important things to worry about than dress code for homecoming or the normal school day."
In addition to the formal dress code changes, Hahnvilleís administration also made some changes to the dress code policy for the normal school day.
Every morning after the announcements end, HHS students are greeted with their "favorite 10 seconds of the day," which is a mandatory dress code check. Teachers are reminded to identify any and all dress code violations, such as piercings, short skirts, non-school related sweatshirts, tight pants and cargo pants, according to the dress code blitz
If the students cannot modify their dress code in the classroom, the teachers are asked to send them to the attendance office where they will be charged $5 for every dress code violation.
"I find a problem with the fact that students have to have their shirt tucked in, but there is no rule about a student having unnatural colored hair. That is more distracting than someone with a nose ring or wearing skinny jeans," Stebbins said. "I do see the reason behind dress code, though."
Within the first quarter of school, Hahnville students have decreased their dress code violations by 20 percent in comparison to last yearís first quarter.