Dress Code and Belly Buttons Split Council – Council Update (December 6th, 2017)
A week separated from last week’s meeting, the main topic remained the same, the proposed Dress Code Motion. However, the meeting began with a discussion about the Council Members in Common Ground Motion.
Brought by Junior Representative Lucas Brock, the Common Ground Motion would make it so that Council members would only switch Common Grounds during the school year on a volunteer basis. There was an initial rush from many Common Ground members to pass or reject the motion so that the changes could be put in place by the next Common Ground Motion, however, once it was clarified that the changes would not go into effect for a far amount of time, Council members decided to move on to the other issue on the agenda, the Dress Code Motion.
Before the debate could even begin on the motion, Assistant Moderator Jasper Meyer moved to divide the motion into two parts: one part would constitute solely the words “belly buttons,” and the other part of the motion would be the rest of the motion. Assistant Mod. Meyer did this in an attempt to separate the debate regarding belly buttons so the rest of the motion wouldn’t be held back. The motion to split the motion passed unanimously.
Debate on the “belly buttons” part of the motion quickly ensued, and the widespread viewpoints and opinions became clear quickly. Junior Representative Dory Psomas discussed how she felt banning belly buttons would only affect girls, which was unfair; she also claimed that in the real world no one would stop someone from wearing a shirt that revealed their belly button, and asked why those shirts should not be allowed in school. Staff representative Mr. Gentine was quick to disagree, saying that his job had a dress code and that there is no professional environment in which belly buttons are allowed. He also mentioned how he wouldn’t be comfortable asking someone to cover up their belly button. Another Staff Representative, Mr. Bourne, followed this up by bringing to the forefront of what he called the grandmother test, asking council members if they would just go up and touch a grandmother’s belly button, and if they wouldn’t be comfortable doing that, as he wouldn’t be, then they shouldn’t allow belly buttons to be accepted in the dress code.
Molly Cook, a senior at HHS then voiced her opinion. She discussed how men and society as a whole have chosen that they want to see women in tight and small clothing, and asked how since that is all that is on the market for women, so how can women be punished for that? On the other hand, Assistant Moderator Jasper Meyer said that he thinks HHS should be treated as a work environment, that he thinks there is a potential for discrimination if they are allowed in because larger girls might be policed more than smaller girls, and that it does matter what women wear and that we have to get out of our bubble in which we think that it doesn’t. He also added that he was sympathetic towards teachers having to enforce this rule and that he doesn’t want to see teachers in crop tops and that teachers don’t want to see students in crop tops.
Junior Representative Oliver Minshall added that he felt there is a certain level of professionalism that should be held at the school. On the other hand, Junior Representative Romaney Granizo-Mackenzie discussed how she thinks that as teenagers we need a place to express ourselves, that she doesn’t understand why society has a problem with seeing belly buttons, and that wearing the wrong shirt in the wrong situation is a mistake that we as teenagers have to make and learn from.
With that Moderator Aisling Kelly brought the meeting to a close without any closure on whether the motion was to pass or not, with Council planning on discussing it further at the next meeting on December 13th.