Did This School's Dress Code Punishment Go Too Far?

dress code Miranda Larkin had to wear a shirt similar to this when she violated her school's dress code. Click here to see what it looked like.

Dress codes are a tricky topic. Should schools have a say over what students wear? Well, back in 1969 a Supreme Court case decided that students "do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate," as long as what they're wearing doesn't substantially interfere with "school discipline or the rights of others." This makes sense. But apparently this isn't always the case. Recently a 15-year-old in Florida was punished for wearing too short of a skirt — and her punishment seems pretty unfair.

According to reports, it was Miranda Larkin's third day of classes at a new school. She had just moved from Seattle and was new to the neighborhood, so she wasn't entirely familiar with the rules. When her outfit was deemed inappropriate, she was forced to wear what she called "a shame suit." This was a baggy t-shirt, which read "Dress Code Violator," along with a pair of sweatpants.

She explained, "The school has said this is to embarrass you. It's supposed to embarrass you so you don't do it again." If this is true, is embarrassment really the right way to handle the situation? We'd have to say no. Doesn't that only draw even more attention to the student? And not in the right way.

According to ABC News, the school claimed that students are actually given three options when they break dress code: to stay in their clothes and attend in-school-suspension, wear the "shame suit," or have someone bring them something else to wear. Despite that statement, Miranda told reporters she wasn't given those options, she only was given the "dress code violator" shirt.

Tell us in the comments whether you think this punishment was appropriate. If you're a Choices magazine subscriber, keep an eye out for our "Are Dress Codes Sexist?" debate in our January issue. In the mean time, we'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Did you know there’s a health and well-being magazine exclusively for teens? Learn more about Choices, and check out past stories including “From Gah! To Ahhh…” and “Which One of Them Is the Cyberbully?”