By Em Barry
As Heritage continues to return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, one push by administration has been the reinstatement of the dress code at school. Jill McCormick, one of Heritage’s assistant principals, explains, “At the end of last year, when we were getting so many complaints from parents and students that the dress code was not being upheld, we decided to re-look at ours.” The dress code has been reevaluated and the most current version of it can be found online in the student handbook.
Keeping everyone up-to-date on the dress code is extremely important to ensure that it is being enforced fairly. As Ms.McCormick describes, “I don’t want one of the other assistant principals really cracking down while I’m walking by like ‘Eh, who cares?’ So, we all wanted to make sure that we were all on the same page.” She also explained that administrators are trying their best to have one-on-one conversations with students found to be in violation of the dress code. The front office has shirts that students can change into if they don’t have an alternative outfit.
While some students feel that the dress code limits their self-expression or is too strict, administrators argue that school is still a professional environment. As such, administrators want to maintain some professionalism within the student body. Allison Smith, an English teacher, argues against the notion that Heritage has an overly-strict dress code. “I think our dress code is actually pretty accommodating. We have no expectations around gender and gender roles [for clothing],” Smith explains. She goes on to describe, “If someone wants to wear something that’s contrary to their gender they were born with versus how they identify, nobody really cares in terms of the teachers here.”
Principal Stacey Riendeau explains that most of the dress code violations that have occurred this year “come from drugs, alcohol references, things along those lines.” She goes on further by saying, “I think most people somehow think that the dress code is really in regards to showing skin or not.” Neither the administrators nor the principal have expressed much concern about the dress code becoming a major issue.
Both Ms. McCormick and Ms. Riendeau invite students to share questions or comments regarding the dress code with the administrators. You can find their contact information on the Heritage website nder Staff Pages.