Wilson Students and Staffs Thoughts on Dress Code

Long Beach, CA- For most of the current class’ experience in education, students and staff have been on opposing sides when it comes to enforcing the dress code. This debacle sparks the question: should there be a dress code? 


A staff member who wanted to remain anonymous said that the only reason for having a dress code is to discourage gang activity, and that a dress code isn’t needed at Wilson. With there being more leniency with the dress code, it seems like if enough people wanted, the dress code could go away.


The oldest articles mentioning gang violence at Wilson date back to more than a decade ago. Overall violent crime in Long Beach has also gone down according to the Long Beach Police Department on longbeach.gov., with a 75% decrease since 1991.  


Jorge Ruiz, a senior in the Leadership and Public Service Pathway, stated, “Wilson students are restricted to their clothing options. Not only are some families not in the financial situation to purchase Wilson clothes, the prices on the clothing are expensive, so in reality we should be open to wearing what we want.”


Wilson High School’s dress code was changed when students returned to school in 2021 after not being in school because of the pandemic. As the requirement shifted from Khaki and Cardinal bottoms to any color bottoms, students and staff have raised many new thoughts and concerns. 


According to Wilson homepage, “Student tops and outerwear may be any combination (solid or patterned) of Wilson colors that are cardinal, gold, khaki, or white”, and “Student bottoms may be any color.” This has allowed students to have more freedom while still maintaining uniforms at Wilson.


But there are still problems. Diego Estrada, a 12th grader in the Tech Pathway said, “Even with the dress code, so many students are still wearing what they want, so I believe there is no point in having a dress code.” 


There are staff at Wilson who disagree with the current dress code for a different reason. 


Mr. Schlesinger, a teacher at Wilson, is more in favor of going back to the classical full high school dress code. He stated, “I think that it brings cohesiveness”, just a sense of unity that brings students together. Understandably, he also just disapproves of inappropriate clothing that could disturb students.


The dress code has been a very hot topic at Wilson High School. Throughout the recent years the uniform policy has been shifting and it’s raised many ideas and concerns. Students are continuing to ask for a more lenient dress code. They want more freedom and feel the uniform is much too strict. Many staff members and teachers are much more concerned about student dress and want to return to the old policy. There are many split opinions on the dress code at Wilson High School.