Political Wear at School; Is it Too Distracting?

Wyllow Larsen, Reporter/photographer

Mary Lewandowski| MLive.com

School dress code is a very controversial topic, as we all know, and defining what clothing can be considered “distracting” at school is something that can lead to disagreements. Do holes in someone’s jeans really mean that other students can’t focus on their school work? Does wearing a hat indoors mean that someone is being disrespectful? These are dress code regulations that currently exist; regulations that only raise further questions about the rules that AREN’T in place; questions like, “Should wearing political attire at school be allowed?”

In the U.S, we have the privilege of being able to have our own political opinions, and we have the freedom of being able to voice and display them openly. But are there limitations that come along with this? 

Our schools dress code states; “…a student shall not wear or use emblems, insignias, badges, or other symbols which distract other students…” 

Here are some examples of distracting political wear that can currently be seen around school and in classrooms: flags, masks, t-shirts, or banners with the names, campaign slogans, or even pictures of popular political parties such as Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

These symbols can be distracting to students in the classroom and draw attention away from learning, no matter your political stance.

Kyra Noelle, Senior, says, “I think we should be able to wear political attire but in all honesty I don’t think enough kids have the maturity to handle that and so I think that if someone doesn’t handle it well it could result in fights, bullying, etc.”

Similarly, Catherine Blashka, Sophomore, says, “Personally I don’t think we should be allowed to wear things like that because it could cause fights and that wouldn’t make it a safe learning environment.”

The student handbook says as well, “This also includes any objects that may be deemed inappropriate or inflammatory due to circumstances at the time.” At this time, with the recent presidential inauguration, the controversy over the capitol building being stormed, and more political events, it could be safe to say that this is a sensitive time in our country and wearing political attire could be aggravating or “inflammatory”, which is, as the handbook states, against school dress code.

We may live in a politically divided country, one full of arguments about “which side is better”, but school should be a place you can go to escape this; to be able to speak freely and not be afraid of being pressured or judged for your opinion.