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The Pepperbox

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Should students have to ‘dress down?’

Why do we have to dress down?
Students dressing down (left) and not dressing down (right) for PE.

Physical education is a mandatory class for all freshmen. PE is also required for an additional second year if you do not meet certain requirements. Students raise an important question: Why do we have to dress down?

Freshman Sonja Vevoda-Wahlig has never dressed down and“never will.” She thinks it’s unfair and just unneeded. “No it’s just like, annoying,” Vevoda-Wahlig said. Multiple students agreed that if you can move in the clothes you came to school in, you should be allowed full credit while wearing them.

“A lot of people are fine, including myself, [and can] run in jeans,” freshman Evelyn Strand said. She did add that shoes with heels or sandals are understandable to change due to them limiting what you can do and being a safety hazard.

The P.E. department has recently updated their syllabus to state that dressing down is not mandatory but highly recommended and will count for 20% of your grade.

In an interview with Mitchell Kane, the Physical Education Department Chair, he explained why they have students dress down.

“Students who dress down generally participate at a higher level [and] it’s a sanitary [thing] also,” he said.

Freshman Eoin MckGoldrick generally disagrees with dressing down but can agree with Kane’s statement about it being sanitary. McGoldrick said that the only reason he dresses down is that he sweats a lot and doesn’t want to wear the same clothes all day.

Students such as sophomore Aliyah Aaron voiced their concerns about students who might not be able to afford clothes for PE.

“I don’t think that’s fair, especially if people can’t get that kind of stuff there shouldn’t be a consequence,” Aaron said referring to students being marked down for not dressing down.

Kane said that the PE department can provide resources to those in need.

“I do have some of those items,” such as sweats, leggings, t-shirts, and others, “in my office and I have given them out to students in the past.”

Freshman Nallia Meyer disagrees with dressing down but for different reasons than others.

Students are given seven minutes before and after class to dress down. Meyer says that “it’s wasting the time that could be used in class.”

While freshman class president Aaron Sanford dresses down for PE, he doesn’t fully agree with it. He understands the basics of changing shoes because some shoes like boots can ruin the floor, but he doesn’t think that “wearing shorts is something that should be a priority.”

Mark Sahlberg, a P.E. teacher for Arcata High, has different dress-down rules than the other teachers. Most students agree with his rules more than the other teachers. Sahlberg said “It’s also clothes that you can move, jog, run, bend, stretch, and do a team sport” when explaining what clothes count towards dressing down points. On a follow-up question about if he allows students to wear jeans, he said “I will not knock you down for jeans as long as you can do those activities.”

Sahlberg was unaware that other teachers didn’t allow students to achieve full credit in jeans. “We do have some discretion within each class,”

Sahlberg said. The question “Should students have to dress down” is a question everyone has a different opinion on. Students and teachers will be on both sides of this debate. They’ll either argue that students shouldn’t because it isn’t necessary, or they’ll agree that students should because it’s sanitary. This is a question that simply comes down to one person’s opinion.

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About the Contributor
Kloe Bryant, Reporter
Kloe Bryant is a freshman who is a driven and passionate writer. Kloe is ready to expand her writing from just writing essays and personal pieces to reporting and writing for the Pepperbox. She finds excitement and enjoyment in sport articles, especially pieces that go into the mind of an athlete. She loves books, specifically the ones that make you forget about reality, but not fantasies. Kloe wants to be a writer who can write about anything, the one who can take a boring topic and make it a phenomenal and engaging piece. You can find her on instagram @kloebryant.
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