Belly Buttons Struck From List of Covered Body Parts in Council’s Dress Code Motion
It was evident from the start that this week’s Council meeting would be an important one, as for the first time in the past few months a large number of students showed up to advocate for their opinions. This was not altogether that surprising considering the issues that dominated the discussion at this week’s Council meeting: the Dress Code Motion, and, specifically, a discussion on whether or not belly buttons should be allowed under the new Dress Code.
Council members were the first to chime in as the discussion was so controversial that there was a long speakers list from the previous meeting that rolled over into this week’s meeting. Sophomore Representative Sabin Mitchell began by saying that she thinks kids should have a place where they will not be judged. Junior Representative Dory Psomas followed this up with a lengthy prepared discourse. She emphasized how the argument that we must keep a professional environment in the school is invalid because there are a significant number of jobs were one might wear a crop top. Rep. Psomas also discussed how numerous students come to school in sweat pants which are not professional either. She also added that we are inferring that old people’s bodies are gross when we say we don’t want to see their belly buttons.
Mrs. Stevenson agreed with Representative Psomas that the argument that the school is a professional environment is likely invalid because kids come to school in pajamas and other clothing not commonly associated with a workplace.
Junior student Amelia McNamara gave her opinion as well, stating that everyone has belly buttons and that she feels students should be allowed to wear clothes to school that express themselves.
As the discussion continued, Moderator Aisling Kelly reinforced the motion’s purpose, which is to create a new, clearer dress code that will actually be enforced. Junior Maisy Wilcox then stated how she feels it is part of HHS’s philosophy to help kids become self-advocating and if the school limits students’ options it takes away this ability for students.
Sophomore Representative Joey Perras said that he wouldn’t support striking belly buttons from the Dress Code because he understands that allowing belly buttons could put teachers in uncomfortable positions. Teacher Representative Mrs. Ceplikas followed this up by saying that she will support striking the belly button from the Dress Code but that she hopes students will take personal responsibility and govern themselves. Assistant Moderator Jasper Meyer says that he would be in favor of a stricter Dress Code because he thinks it is somewhat of an equalizer between people.
Senior Kate Zegans contributed saying that she thinks seeing other people express themselves contributes to a supportive community and that she thinks that is what we should have at HHS. Co-Treasurer Max Taxman finished the conversation by saying that he was in favor of allowing students to show their belly buttons but that students must realize that this privilege comes with a big level of personal responsibility.
The meeting culminated in Council voting on the motion. The suspension slowly built as the roll call vote ensued, but in the end the motion failed with a slim margin, as there were 14 votes to keep belly buttons in the Dress Code and one abstention, while the rest voted to strike belly buttons from the code. So, in the end, belly buttons will not be in the new Dress Code if it goes on to pass through Council.