Tag Archive: dress code


So, going to the bathroom in my high school was a Very Serious Issue. You see, at any given time, there were only half or so of the bathrooms open. You found out which ones were open by finding the bathroom monitor, which were teachers who were assigned to sit at a table outside the bathroom. You went there, you signed in, with the time you got there, did your business, signed out with the time you left, and went back to class. (What was done with the forms? I don’t know. It kinda creeps me out to imagine them all filed away somewhere in the office…)

Sometimes you’d get overzealous bathroom monitors, or teachers. You see, the bathroom monitor had to sign your pass back to class. But if you took too long either to get to the bathroom, or were in the bathroom too long, they wouldn’t sign it (this only happened once the entire time I was there, when I had to poo during third period, but some other people I knew it happened to rather frequently until they figured out they could avoid those ones by going to another floor, because they were tired of being penalized for having class on the opposite side of the building). And in some classes, not getting the pass signed could mean detention, because the  teacher would check, and assume you hadn’t gone to the bathroom instead. (Some teachers were very suspicious of the students. They would call the nurse and ask “What (name) there last period?” because them puking in class could have just been a ploy to get out of class. Yes, I kid you not, there was a teacher who did this)

That, in and of itself, was annoying enough. I mean, first you force me to come to this place almost every day, and then you proceed to treat me like a criminal, and tell me I took too long pooping so you’re not going to sign my slip and get me a detention, which makes me stay at this place even longer? But it got worse than that. Two specific incidents come to mind…

Supposedly, there was a gang problem at my high school. I say supposedly, because I never actually say any evidence besides teenagers being teenagers and boasting that they were a gang. And supposedly, there was one called the Red Shirt Fraternity. And they are why I got sent to my administrator by a bathroom monitor.

It was a Thursday. It was my first, maybe second week of school. It’s at some point before lunch, because I was wondering if I would be able to find my new friends at lunch that day. I had to use the bathroom. As I’m signing in, the bathroom monitor goes, “What do you think you’re doing, wearing that?”

I look down with alarm at my clothing. I was confused, and had no idea what she was talking about. I knew the dress code was different, but all I was wearing was a red t-shirt that covered everything, a pair of jeans, and some sneakers. I looked confusedly at her. Apparently that constituted giving her attitude, and I was escorted down to the administrator.

I was so confused and worried. What had I done that landed me in the administrator’s office already? Was I going to be a “bad kid” at my new school?

The administrator called me in to his office. When he asked, I honestly told him I had no idea why I was brought there. He mentioned that I should know not to wear red shirts on Thursday, because it was a “gang sign” and no “gang signs” were allowed in the school. I quickly assured him that I had no idea of that, and that it was only my second week in this school and how there was nothing about red shirts in the dress code, and that I had studied it to make sure I wouldn’t get in trouble because the dress code was so different than the other school I had been to. He believed me, and let me go, with a warning to “never wear red on a Thursday again!”
(the funny thing is, unintentionally, I did a few other times, later on during my time there. No one said anything. Funny how arbitrary things are…)

Another time, it was near the beginning of the school year. I had on a pair of boy-shorts, because due to the restrictions on length of shorts and my disproportionately long at the time legs, no pairs of girl shorts fit me at the time, and a somewhat baggy t-shirt. However, I had long flowing hair to my shoulders, and that was my normal fashion those days, so I thought nothing of it.

Went to go to the girl’s bathroom. “That’s the wrong door..” the monitor said. I look up, to make sure it’s the lady’s room. Try to go in the bathroom again. “I said that’s the wrong door!” she replied. I turned around, yelled at the top of my lungs, “I’M A GIRL!!!!!” and stormed into the bathroom. She apologized to me on my way out, but after seeing me look at the sign, and then continue to try to go in, you’d think she got the picture. I made sure that I was going into the right door. No need to push your preconceived ideas of how a boy or a girl should look like on me.

There was a point to this post, originally. I forget now. I’m just going to chalk it up as a random “experiences in the life of a Momo” post.

I feel like telling you all a story from when I was younger….

I went to two high schools. The first one’s dress code was “as long as it doesn’t create a disturbance in class”.

I verified this with all the administrators I had come across. This was the policy. No matter what, if it didn’t cause a disturbance in the classroom, it was okay.

So one day, I decided to wear a thong on the outside of my pants. You see, the “trend” at the time was for girls to wear low-cut jeans with their thongs sticking out. I personally thought it looked silly, so I figured I’d do something equally silly to comment on it.

All was well, until 7th period. You see, between periods, and during study hall and lunch, I got a few questions, but in the actually classes, no one said anything. So I was still within policy, although only by a bit. And then the teacher told me that it was inappropriate and that I needed to take my thong off.

“But I’m not breaking any rules. It hasn’t caused any disturbances in any classes, and your class hadn’t even started! And anyways, why is my outfit any worse than hers? The only difference between my outfit and her outfit is a few inches of pants and the placement of the thong!” I said, pointing to the girl next to me. (She was actually pretty nice, if I remember correctly. She later told me she didn’t agree with the teacher making me take it off)

She then proceeded to spin some sort of excuse that teachers are allowed discretion over dress code policies and that was why she was allowed to not let students wear hats in her class and so I needed to go and take the thong off NOW or there would be consequences.

I wish I could live that day over again, just so that I could stand my ground against her. Argue with her. Dare her to do something.

But I was only 14, and a very meek 14-year-old at that. So I went to the bathroom and took off the thong.

But, I did not let her win completely. I took her at her word, that it was a her classroom rule, and put on the thong on the way to the next class.

Apparently, one of my classmates didn’t like this, and went back and told her. Not even five minutes into the next class, the teacher from the previous class showed up, and told the other teacher that he needed to tell me to take it off because she had told me to take it off and it was inappropriate.

I was almost worth it to see the teacher say it. He was this quiet, mild-mannered, white-haired old man.

“Momo (except he used the name I went by then), are you wearing something that (mean lady teacher from previous period) told you not to wear?” She was standing there next to him, glaring at me.

I sensed the opportunity here. “YOU MEAN MY THONG?!” I cried, standing up, drawing obvious attention to it. I felt almost bad for the guy, it wasn’t his fault, but if I was asked to take the thong off again, I was going to make sure as hell I at least made it violate dress code before I did it.

He went red, and didn’t really address what I said. “You need to go to the ladies room and remove that….”

“Oh no need for me missing class. I’ll do it right here!” And I started trying to take the thong off.

“No! Nonono! In the ladies room!” he stammered.

I felt as though my point had been made well enough, and so I walked out of the room, staring the mean teacher in the eye as I left. I later apologized to the kindly old teacher, explaining that I had reacted as I had because, up until that point, had no fuss made while in a class due to my outfit, and that I was being unfairly targeted. He said that he understood my point, but he didn’t want to undermine the other teacher’s authority or something like that.

Then, in the next school I went to, I got in trouble for wearing red on the wrong day. But that’s a long story, for another post….

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