The No List


    With the unexpected chaos that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the student body, the dress code was not spared. We started off the 2020-2021 school year with a relaxed dress code due to masks and other discomforts such as inconsistencies in rules and social distancing.  Recently, a new dress code was written. The dress code had been in question throughout 2019, but ended up getting changed this year. Chris Tennyson, the Dean of Students, sent out  an improved dress code, named the “No List”,as well as examples of how to talk to students about their clothing, in a schoolwide email. This list is a dress code telling us exactly what not to wear on campus rather than what we should wear.    

“The list better reflects our academy in the sense that it doesn’t sexualize the students,” said a senior student. The list is more directed to the clothing rather than the students. For example, in past dress codes, there have been phrases referring to showing shoulders and other parts of the body, whereas this list specifically makes reference to parts that “should be covered.” Additionally, the “No List” was written by the prefects.  The senior also added“I don’t think it is fair for it to be written by students – especially when they themselves might not always follow the dress code.”    

Along with being more straightforward, the “No List” is different from other codes because it was written by students, specifically prefects. A prefect stated, “As students, why are we making the thing that students don’t like? At first we were just asked for our input, but when we were asked to review the dress code, it was verbatim what we discussed”. 

    One of the big changes in this dress code is that it is gender-neutral. “I made it a point to degender the dress code, I also made it a point to make sure that it was not so much about the body, but rather the clothes” added the prefect.  The  “No List” also includes comments teachers should refrain from saying.  Additionally, they were given a specific script which started with “Dear Student”, making these violations much less personal. In an interview with Kerry McCaffery,

The “No List” was sent out in an email from Dean of Students, Chris Tennyson

Senior English teacher and a member of the Faculty Advisor committee, she stated, “I think it is so important that teachers know what to say when dress coding a student. It should not be a morality accusation.” Making dress code violations a morality judgment makes students feel highly uncomfortable.

    Before this list, teachers would embarrass students by asking them to stand up or making inappropriate comments regarding their attire. While controversial, this list does make rules straightforward for teachers and students and hopefully, will create a safer environment.