Dress to Impress


The hallways of West High are filled with students expressing themselves through their attire.

Arianna McGrath, Reporter

The students at West Anchorage High School have a code of rules to follow regarding how they dress in order to fit the school setting, enforced by the adult staff.

The one who makes decisions regarding our dress code is the head principal, Sven Gustafson. Regarding why we have a dress code in the first place, he said, “We need to have a dress code. We need to have some form of rules around to make everybody feel comfortable.”

Gustafson says it is about the students looking professional as well. When people from outside of West come visit, he wants them to see students who are serious about learning. Students are not allowed to show bare midriff, sag their pants, wear spaghetti straps or display clothing that exhibits drugs, sex, alcohol or other illegal activities. 

The only thing he has changed about the dress code from previous years is the hat policy, and many students are hot happy about that. Student Government worked during the 2016-2017 year to have them allowed, and this year they are no banned.

Student government member Kylie Hanson said,  “When we changed [the hat policy] I thought they loved it and now I don’t think they don’t like it as much just because it was good and it got changed again, so I think they have a deeper aggression towards it then they would have last year.”

Students and staff notice the rule about hats more now since hats were permitted last year. Students showed how unhappy the change made them at the assembly at the beginning of the year by booing Gustafson during the  first day of school assembly. Gustafson said, “When you change something, not everyone’s going to be happy. And I knew that.”  He noted, however; that by the time he took a few steps forward it had stopped.

According to Student Services Principal David Little, who is in charge of security, there are about 20 people a day who violate the dress code. The students are just asked to change, but if they refuse their parent/guardian is called. Little said, “It’s very unfortunate that something like a t-shirt choice would get in the way of their education.”

Little believes that our school represents the community. “We need to mirror or reflect what our community feels is important or appropriate,” he said. When he was in high school students had to wear slacks and a dress shirt, and he acknowledges that these types of things change.

Hanson wanted to clarify that it was not the decision of Student Government to change the hat policy, since they can get blamed for these things. She said, “We tried to implement a better dress code for everyone. We really had the student body’s personal interest in mind.” Student Government wants to help the students of West, and do what they can to make them happy.