Increase in dress code violations leads to student questions


Photographer: Claire R.

Three ASD HS students wear dress-code-approved clothing.

Claire R., News Section Editor

Students in our high school have witnessed the HS admin’s recent rise in concern about the dress code, but few seem to understand why school leaders have started cracking down on the problem now.

As teachers have become stricter with students, stories of students being “dress coded” for things not explicitly in the student handbook have started to pop up. ASD’s HS dress code is exactly what it says it is: a compilation of rules concerning the clothes students are allowed to wear. Students can find the code in the HS and MS handbooks.

High school principals Mr. Michael Roberts and Ms. Jan Farmer stated that the dress code was in place to make sure students respected the culture in Qatar. They stated that Ms. Farmer’s advisory had recently given input on the student dress code. However, some students in the advisory group’s discussion objected to the presumed basis for the rules.

Some Qatari students in the group argued that they didn’t want to be “blamed” for the dress code, as it seemed the dress code was made for the school to be “culturally sensitive” to them specifically. However, M. Al-Thani (‘22), a Qatari, stated that “Even if some [Qatari] people don’t care about it, you still need to follow the rules.”

Mr. Roberts stated that a “faculty task force” worked with some students to make informational posters on the dress code limitations. Associate principal Mr. Paul Kasky added on, saying that “That group actually revised the dress code explicitly to make it gender neutral … to make sure it was not targeting one gender over the other.”

The administration was also quick to note that cultural sensitivities were not the only reason the dress code was created. Mr. Roberts stated that ASD was not the only school in the world to have a dress code that respected their host countries. Ms. Farmer also clarified that some kinds of clothing would be inappropriate for students and teachers and that people came to school to learn.

Even though the handbook lists the reasons to be dress coded, some students stated that they had been unjustly accused of being out of compliance. One such student claimed that she had been dress coded because her collar bones were showing, which is clearly not a reason listed in the handbook.

R. Beitelmal (‘22), a student who has never been dress coded before, stated, “While I can see why the dress code might be needed, and also why it might be disliked, I personally think there really isn’t a problem with it. I believe that students often complain because of the idea that they are being controlled with what they wear, not because students are forced not to wear certain clothes.”

Generally, most students seemed to share her view and did not seem very concerned about this issue until admin started enforcing it more. Mr. Kasky even stated, “We don’t have a lot of people breaking dress code…. Some students tend to repeat the violation … and need to be reminded more than one time.”

The principals indicated that if students had any concerns, they should feel free to contact the administrators. Mr. Roberts indicated that there will be some changes to the dress code that will be implemented next year, and student input will definitely be considered.