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.
“Not everyone needs to act white; not everyone needs to act middle class.”
“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.”
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