Beach or School? One of Many Questions Surrounding the Dress Code at Pascack Hills


Kristina Hughes

As fall quickly approaches and the warm summer weather disappears, we temporarily say goodbye to shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops. By packing away our summer clothes, we also lessen the risk of dress code violations. At Pascack Hills High School, many students describe the dress code as vague or are confused as to what the rules actually are.

Terms of the dress code include wearing clothing free of drug, alcohol, or tobacco references. The code also does not permit pajamas or hats in the classroom setting, and footwear is to be worn at all times. It vaguely explains, “Clothing must be clean and modest so that it does not detract or distract from our educational goals.” However, what is considered distracting?

When asked about the dress code at Hills, Vice Principal Mr. Wieland said that the code is vague on purpose and added, “I don’t want a specific ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you can’t do that.’” The rules are left to the student’s interpretation and best judgment. To many people’s surprise, according to Mr. Wieland, there have been more occasions of boys violating the dress code than girls in his past three years as vice principal.

Emily Cazaz, a senior at Pascack Hills, shared her take on the dress code. She claimed that the code is fair and “relies on trusting the students to abide by the rules.” If a faculty member has ever approached you about your attire, then you know how uncomfortable and awkward it feels. But imagine how uncomfortable the administration and teachers feel to have to call out a student. Keep this in mind when questioning the appropriateness of your clothing before school each day.

The well-known phrase “beach or school?” may seem like a humorous question posed by Mr. deMarrais; however, it is a serious and valid question. Students can avoid hearing this by making sure their beachwear stays out of the school environment.

An issue constantly in the news is the controversy over sexism present within dress codes. Earlier this year, over 100 students at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey, protested the unfair dress code at their school that specifically targets girls. Pascack Hills Senior, Jamie Spelling, has something to add about the controversial sexist dress codes that appear in high schools.

“Instead of focusing on making sure girls are not wearing sexual clothing, we should be focusing on educating boys not to sexualize everything that girls wear,” Spelling argued. While this may not be a huge issue at Hills, the issue over equality and respect through the dress code is still present.