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Education Race

Now, School Dress Codes are Racist

Campus Reform
Written by Campus Reform

A University of Georgia (UGA) doctoral student says that high school dress codes based on middle-class values of modesty and professionalism unfairly target minority students.
Rouhollah Aghasaleh, who is studying middle and secondary education, argues that revealing and/or baggy clothing is simply an expression of “hip hop” and “working class” cultures, and that “white” social conventions are unfairly privileged.

A University of Georgia (UGA) doctoral student says that high school dress codes based on middle-class values of modesty and professionalism unfairly target minority students.

In an essay shared by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rouhollah Aghasaleh, a PhD candidate in middle and secondary education at UGA, writes that dress codes unfairly discriminate against the hip hop culture enjoyed by young black students and others who come from working class backgrounds.

“Dress code as it exists in schools means some bodies are more privileged over others,” Aghasaleh states. “Dress code is to regulate and maintain the normative gender, sexuality, race, and class… Similarly, acting black and wearing clothes of working class is considered disruptive for education and inappropriate for businesses.”

Aghasaleh took issue with a clothing policy he saw posted at a mostly black Georgia high school last year, describing a flyer that “included figures of two young adolescents; a black male wearing baggy jeans, bandana, [and] tank top with a beer logo on front, and a white female wearing short shorts, halter top with spaghetti straps, and a hat.”

In Aghasaleh’s estimation, “the poster was meant to visually portray the inappropriateness of hip hop clothing, revealing too much skin and working class attire at school,” which he believes was intended to target an entire class of students.

“In the picture, representation of working-class masculinity and femininity was vivid, which was, of course, entangled with race as well,” he contends. “It conveyed a message to working class as well as black students (and faculty and staff) that it aims to exclude their culture from school environment. It also emphasized what is valued as modesty in the South.”

Going further, he argues that dress codes like the one he saw are actually an attempt to whitewash…

Read the rest of the story at Campus Reform

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Campus Reform

Campus Reform

Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, is America's leading site for college news.
As a watchdog to the nation's higher education system, Campus Reform exposes bias and abuse on the nation's college campuses.
Our team of professional journalists works alongside student activists and student journalists to report on the conduct and misconduct of university administrators, faculty, and students.
Campus Reform holds itself to rigorous journalism standards and strives to present each story with accuracy, objectivity, and public accountability.

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