Now that summer weather is finally here, so is summer clothing. The length of girls’ shorts at Bethel High School has always been an issue. For five years, school dress code dictates that shorts must be three inches above the knee; yet, the reality is most girls at BHS rarely follow the rule.
Bethel High School’s Principal Dr. Patricia Cosentino is passionate about girls following this rule and learning what is appropriate dress. “We’re a school, not a beach,” she insists. “I think the staff agrees with me. It’s important to be dressed appropriately.”
The problem that students face with following the dress code is that most teen clothing stores don’t have a big selection of longer shorts. When shorts in stores are the farthest thing from three inches above the knee, students find it challenging to obey this rule.
Sophomore Emily Mills says, “When I go shopping for school-appropriate shorts, I hardly find any that are decent looking, and almost none of them fit me the right way. How do they expect us to follow a dress code when I can’t even find shorts that length?”
“I walk through a store and mostly I see booty shorts that I wouldn’t even buy to begin with,” says BHS student Katherine Filler, junior, “Then I find shorts that I like and my mom would approve of and they’re not three inches from the knee. It’s ridiculous how we can’t even wear shorts that go to our fingertips.”
“The only shorts that I own that are appropriate for school used to be jeans. I couldn’t find any in stores so I had to sacrifice one of my favorite pairs so I wasn’t suffocating in ¾ of my classes which have no air conditioning,” says sophomore Maddie Bedder.
Dr. Consentino isn’t amused with many of these arguments. “Well I think that’s not true,” she maintains. “I think there’s a lot of stores with short shorts, but there’s a lot of stores with longer shorts too. Sure, you might have to look around a little harder, but you can find them.”
BHS’s dress code will not be changing anytime soon, according to Dr. Consentino. Students will need to shop a little harder in order to follow the dress code for the last three weeks of school that remain.