As the new school year starts to settle in many students are getting used to change. Those who are adapting to the most change are inevitably the freshmen. The freshmen are adjusting to a new school, new teachers, new classmates… and even an unexplored dress code.

Natalie Hill and Sara Adam offer a thumbs-up for everyone who dresses appropriately for school...like them. (Photo by Alexa Rockwell)
Natalie Hill and Sara Adam offer a thumbs-up for everyone who dresses appropriately for school…like them. (Photo by Alexa Rockwell)

While most middle schools possess rules such as the proclaimed “Three Finger Rule,” which requires shirts to have tank top straps of at least a width of three fingers, and the “Fingertips Rule,” which requires shorts to reach the end of your fingertips when arms are by your sides, the high school doesn’t enforce such rules.

According to the Andover High School student handbook, “The administration reserves the right to ask students to change any attire that disrupts the educational process or environment… Clothing which could create an actual disruption or disorder to the learning environment includes, but is not limited to clothing that is too short or reveals midriffs or undergarments.”

The first couple weeks of school brought along a heat wave and, with that, some interesting clothing choices.

Jessica Witten, a senior, says that she doesn’t remember anyone ever dressing the way the freshmen do now when she was their age. “Some freshmen come in with no pants on,” according to Witten. “If I ever walked out of the house like that my mom would kill me.”

The newfound sense of freedom that high school offers to the freshmen may be the reason for the difference in fashion. According to Marina Rinaldi, freshman, the difference between high school and middle school is that in high school “girls will wear short shorts and things that show their stomachs but in middle school we’d get in a lot of trouble for that.”

It’s hard enough to stay focused during the school day, but even more difficult when, according to Rinaldi, you look at somebody’s inappropriate outfit and think, “What are you doing?”

“I believe in expression of oneself through clothing,” Joey Spinale, sophomore, said. “But I think there’s a fine line between expressing oneself and distracting other people from their work.”

Witten, Rinaldi and Spinale all said that if they were a teacher, they would feel uncomfortable enforcing any source of dress code given what some people choose to wear.

Ms. Emery, of the Physical Education Department, said there have been moments where she sees someone and thinks, “Whoa, what is this person wearing?” Emery has only once ever said something to someone about their outfit choice, a girl wearing a “very short mini skirt” for whom Emery said she felt bad. Emery didn’t report her but instead let her know, in her best interest, that maybe the skirt was too short for her.

Dr. Valverde, an assistant principal, said that if she saw somebody in the hallways with shorts that are too short or any other inappropriate outfit she would “tell them to look at the code of discipline.” There have been students sent to the office for inappropriate outfits, according to Valverde.

Whether it’s the freedom high school offers, the latest fashion trends or the heat wave that hit AHS during the first few weeks of school, the clothing choices of some have been the talk of the school. Just remember butt cheeks are SO last season.

Stay classy, AHS.

By Alexa Rockwell