Dean Beth Slattery warned girls during sophomore, junior and senior class meetings that they would be forced to wear a sweat suit or go home to change if they continued coming to school wearing scant clothing.
The Student/Parent Handbook lays out a dress code to “create an environment in which all students, teachers and staff feel comfortable.” However, Slattery said that teachers began calling her asking whether or not a dress code was actually enforced.
“As a dean, I became a little oblivious to these things,” Slattery said. “Once I started paying attention, I realized that there were a lot of things that weren’t appropriate for school. We were getting ready to walk into junior assembly and there were two students wearing entirely see-through shirts.”
Another concern is what the dress code refers to as “excessively revealing” shorts.
“The other issue that I have noticed is walking up the Chalmers staircase. When you are behind someone and their behind is at face level it’s really noticeable,” Slattery said.
Slattery said that as years go on, fashion-related issues come and go.
A few years ago, she said, the main problem was that boys would sag their pants.
An announcement was not made because it was easier to tell a boy to pull up his pants, she said.
“There is nothing a girl can do if she has on shorts that are too short,” she said.
Slattery decided to make this a dean-enforced initiative, fearing that it could taint student-teacher relationships.
“It should come from the deans because we have a different relationship with students,” she said. “It would be kind of awkward if a kid knew that their teacher thought they weren’t dressed well.”
Despite concerns, President Thomas C. Hudnut said that there was never a discussion of adopting a stricter dress code.
“We never talked about having a particularly restrictive dress code and certainly not a uniform because I’m not interested in hiring teachers that are interested in enforcing a dress or uniform code,” Hudnut said.
Slattery said she hopes her announcement served as a reminder to students to consider the environment of the school while making style choices.