Revised dress code set to be out for student feedback


Natalie Wei

As students return to campus for the 2021-22 school year, establishing a finalized dress code has been brought to the MVLA’s administration’s attention. The Associated Student Body has proposed a revised dress code in an effort to address concerns over sexist policies, and student opinion will be collected in January to give the MVLA feedback for further revisions.

The Mountain View–Los Altos School Board continues to finalize changes to the student dress code proposed by Los Altos High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) earlier this year, which will be released for school-wide student feedback in January. These changes are being made in response to student concern over sexist rhetoric in the prior policy. 

These adapted dress code policies are intended to be more lenient in terms of student attire, stating the following: 

  1. Students must wear clothing including both a shirt with pants or skirt, or the equivalent, and shoes.
  2. Fabric covering all private parts must not be see-through.
  3. Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities including physical education and the safety requirements of science, culinary and engineering labs.
  4. Specialized programs may require specific attire, such as performing arts, or athletics uniforms or safety gear.

ASB initially brainstormed these dress code revisions and sent their proposal to Associate Superintendent of Educational Services Teri Faught. Following District approval, the dress code was then sent to the staff, who suggested their own changes. However, the District did not immediately approve the leadership team’s changes, and is now seeking student feedback on them prior to making any decisions, according to ASB President senior Aida Yezalaleul. 

After receiving student feedback, the dress code has to ultimately be approved by a panel of both Mountain View and Los Altos high school administrators. Faught’s initial goal was to have the dress code implemented no later than the beginning of October, but the feedback and revision process has contributed to a delay in this schedule. As of right now, the final dress code’s completion date is unknown. 

After reviewing student feedback, the administration will make additional changes before getting a final vote of approval from MVLA Suprintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer.

“Our vision for the dress code was written to be more equitable, inclusive and inspiring,” Faught said. “We removed certain parameters that were very specific about what a student can and cannot wear — requirements like shorts having to be fingertips long, shirts having certain width requirements for the straps or how much midriff can be shown.”

The goal of the changes is to decrease the stereotyping and marginalization of students. Rules like the prohibition of wearing clothing with language of drugs, alcohol and gang associations will  still be in place, according to Faught, although the dress code that ASB is sending out to students doesn’t have any guidelines on such clothing. 

“What we don’t want is to create an environment where it is distracting for students to work in,” Faught said. “We feel that our [new] dress code policy is not going so far to the left that we are going to have major issues where people are getting distracted all the time about what people are or are not wearing.”