Walking into my first hour almost everyday of the week, the first action I take is not to say hello to my friends or teacher, pull out last nights assignment, or look over notes needed for the class that day. Rather it is to pull off my hooded sweatshirt as fast as I can in order to avoid being reprimanded.
I understand that Rockhurst wants its students to dress for success, like they would if going to a job or an interview. But the fact is that Rockhurst isn’t a job. It is a high school. Students attend the school to learn the skills necessary to excel in college and eventually get a job, but Rockhurst itself is not a job and does not need to have an office-like dress code.
As a student at Rockhurst, I learn best when I am comfortable and in a more friendly, familiar school environment. A sweatshirt is one of the most comfortable and often worn items of clothing I own. If I could wear my hoodie to school, it would add a more familiar and comfortable aspect that would allow for a better learning experience.
There are also literally no negative outcomes to allowing students to wear to wear a sweatshirt in class. Students are not going to pay attention less or act out more because they are wearing a more relaxed article of clothing.
Looking around to other schools both public and private in the surrounding KC area, many of them allow students to wear sweatshirts. Allowing Rockhurst students to wear hoodies would not make them stand out negatively from the crowd.
If not allowing complete freedom to the students to wear sweatshirts, the policies regarding these items of clothes should be lessened to allow students to wear hoodies during non-class time periods like activity period, home room, or lunch. Currently if a student were to walk into the dining commons wearing a sweatshirt, or even just carrying one in his hands, he would be sent back to put the jacket into his locker before he is allowed to sit down and eat. That is a little ridiculous even to an outside observer.
In reality, the Rockhurst administration is working against itself. By enforcing such insignificant, superfluous rules, they are actively fostering resentment in students and undermining the discipline system. The more we are yelled at for wearing or even carrying hoodies, the less respect we will have for the discipline system itself.
The administration needs to more selectively choose rules to enforce. If they continue enforcing absurd rules like the ban on hooded sweatshirts, the student body will undoubtedly lose the respect that is essential in a relationship between students and administration.