Staff Stance: Skirting the Rules


Photo Credit: Claire Fletcher/The Fourcast

Walking down the hallways these past couple of weeks, it isn’t uncommon to see skirts with fraying threads flying from ripped-out seams or hems so recently let out that the old hemline still creases, reminding us of the days of less strict uniforms.

Since the beginning of the school year, we have garnered a large collection of tricks and tips to deceive our teachers’ eyes and pass the dreaded skirt checks. Whether it’s leaning forward when the infamous pink card is held to our knees or unzipping and pulling our skirts down, we all have our ways of passing (or in some cases, failing) skirt checks.

Nonetheless, the skirt length has been the center of commotion, conversation and complaints around the Upper School hallways. But truly, the skirt length reinforcement should not come to us as a surprise.

Uniform rules are not new to us. We have always known that we can’t wear sweatpants in place of our skirt, t-shirts on Mondays or a polo on dress uniform days.

If anything, the rule is far less restrictive than it has been in the past.

In 1990, girls’ skirts could not be more than two inches above the knee. At least now when we go to class, we don’t have to kneel on the ground and wait for our teacher to measure our skirts with a ruler. The rule simply has not been enforced as strictly in recent years as it is now.

Debuting in 1974, the plaid skirt serves as a staple of Hockaday’s longstanding history and tradition. The issue of skirt length is no longer just about Hockaday’s image. It has transcended to a reflection of each of our individual characters. Keep in mind that character is one of our Cornerstones.

What we wear serves as a first impression to not only guests visiting Hockaday, but members of our community as well. When Interim Headmistress Liza Lee attended a summer conference with college representatives, one of the comments made to her was about the length of our skirts. It was not about our academics or our intellect. It was about something as mundane as our skirts!

Is that really the impression we want to leave?

Furthermore, Hockaday’s current rule is neither irrational nor unfair. We are not the only school with skirt length rules.

Parish Episcopal School requires students to wear skirts that are two inches above the knee, while at Ursuline Academy, skirts must be no shorter than one and a half inches above the knee.

We have been taught to be independent and free thinkers. Standing up for what we believe in is what we Hockadaises do best. Yes, we are standing up for ourselves by expressing our discontent of the skirt rule. Yes, the length of our skirt doesn’t dictate our ability to learn in the classroom. But there is no point in fighting this rule. It is not unreasonable and keeps our best interests in mind. After all, it isn’t going away anytime soon.