With the new school year rolling along, incoming freshmen are becoming acclimated to the atmosphere of high school. Along with new teachers and classmates, new rules and regulations have taken effect. One of the more discussed rules is the stricter dress code that Clark County's public schools have implemented.
Yet while school administrators seek an effective policy, students seem to be paying less and less attention to the rules.
"We don't have a certain dress code like wearing certain colors, but we do have to keep our clothes PG-13," says Monica Toribio, a 17-year-old Clark High School senior. "No short shorts or midriff showing or anything gang related. But our school isn't that strict with the dress code policy. They'll tell you one thing but they don't enforce it."
Consequences for ignoring the dress code policy are similar throughout high schools: After a certain number of offenses, a referral for parent conference (RPC) is inevitable.
"The first time they'll send you to the dean's office and will give you either a shirt or shorts to change into," Toribio says. "The second time they'll send you home. The third time you're RPC'd."
Enforcing a dress code can be difficult, says Jasmine Upton, 17, a Shadow Ridge High School senior.
"The dress code consequences are not even that successful, because students will come to school wearing whatever they want and they still never get in trouble," Upton says. "Every day, at least two people are caught with dress code out of the 30 who are out of dress code. They could make it more strict, but students will still try and find ways around the dress code."
One of Cheyenne High School's American literature teachers, Juan Bahena, agrees that there's a lack of enforcement of dress code policy but sees the importance of students following the rules.
"We don't enforce the policy as seriously as we should, but students in this age group also may not know what's best for them and they may need to trust in our judgment," Bahena says.
A new addition that is being introduced to Clark County schools is Standard Student Attire (SSA).
School District Regulation 5131 states the students' dress, personal appearance and conduct are required to be of a character that doesn't disrupt the learning environment of the school.
Students may wear polos in certain colors approved by the school, with khaki or navy pants as a daily school uniform.
Cheyenne senior Jennifer Fluhrer, 17, sees the Standard Student Attire as a negative influence on a student's ability to express his or her individuality in school.
"My style doesn't match with any of the SSA colors that are offered," Fluhrer says. "I think it would be better if we had more options. A majority of students don't even follow the SSA rules anyways, and they try to get away with showing their style as much as they can."
Flora Brown, a 16-year-old junior at Cheyenne, disagrees and thinks of SSA as a positive.
"I love wearing Standard Student Attire every day," Brown says. "I fix my uniform and make it more me. You can accessorize and change your uniform. There are so many things you can do to make it more of you."
Shadow Ridge, a school that has not adopted SSA, still enforces a policy that calls on students to wear clothing that is appropriate and causes the least distraction possible.
"At Shadow they try to make sure we are always following the school dress code and it's so much better than having to wear uniforms," Upton says. "School isn't supposed to be a place to show some skin and look trashy.
"The administration is right about it causing a distraction, because it definitely will. There's no need to come to school wearing summer clothes year-round. Sure, people want to be comfortable and someone can argue that they are taking away our freedom, but in reality, they're not.
"It's like showing up to a wedding informal," Upton says. "It's kind of common sense."