Is it the schools or the stores?

Photo illustrations by Madeleine Campos
Photo illustrations by Madeleine Campos

Is it the schools or the stores?

by Madeleine Campos, 7th grade
Stripes Korea

Girls! Have you ever looked into your closet and have been unable to find clothes for school? Have you ever thought it was the school being discriminatory? Actually, it is the PX! The PX does not provide school appropriate clothes for girls making it harder for them to follow the dress code. Dress code for all of DODEA schools is that the shorts need to be lower than students’ fingertips, the shirt must have at least a three-finger-length at the shoulders, and the shirt cannot show the students stomach at any time. Unfortunately, the PX do not follow any of these regulations. This leads to more girls getting dress coded than boys. This leads to infer that the schools are at fault but, it really is the PX.

Most of the PXs for overseas military girls on camps and bases don’t sell clothes that are ‘appropriate’ for school. However, almost all of the clothes in the male section are acceptable. At the PX on camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan the girls vs. boys are clearly portrayed in these pictures.

As you can see the clothing options for the girls and boys are very different and the clothes in the girls’ section are not appropriate in the school’s eyes.

As a result, many of the students being dress coded are females. Not because of their choices of clothes, but because they have no choice but to buy the clothes that are not always appropriate. After taking a poll of 15 teachers and why they coded the students, these were the results. “The most common reasons for the majority of the dress codes were too short skirts or shorts, no sleeves on a tank top, and crop tops.” Many of the students being dress coded are girls and it is because the clothes they are sold are not school appropriate.

The clothes at the PX that are school-appropriate are often limited and costly. For example, a seventh-grade girl was looking for shorts and was met with this conundrum, she said “For school shopping I needed clothes for PE and there were only a few choices that were in the dress code. However, they were expensive. Too expensive to buy the amount of shorts I needed.”

On the other hand, there are online stores like Amazon, Gap, and Old Navy that do sell school appropriate clothes. These are some of the clothes that are sold on Amazon, Gap, and Old Navy.”

As you can see the clothes that are on these websites are appropriate for the school system, yet the clothes take a long time to ship to wherever the person ordering the clothes are. For example, a fellow seventh-grade girl said, “we ordered clothes for me in November and they got here a couple of days ago. These clothes are from the Old Navy.” Keep in mind that it is mid-January. Also, you don’t know for a fact what the clothes will look like when they get here. For example, the same girl that had to wait two months for her clothes turned out to not be school-appropriate.

From the graph in example 2 you can see that “71 percent” of girls are dress-coded. From the pictures, we can see how the PX options are not in favor of the girls, and the exclusive clothes within the dress code are expensive. Lastly, the PX had no comment about my story nor about the clothing options in the girls, juniors and women’s sections.

In conclusion stores do not provide acceptable clothes for young girls in school. Instead of selling shorts and shirts that are unacceptable by school regulations the stores could stock up on clothes from stores like Amazon, Gap, and Old Navy which all have a wider variety of school acceptable clothes. Another solution would be to talk to the businesses that are already selling the PX clothes and tell them what needs to change in their products.

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