Girls Dress Code: Up To Code?

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Ashley Behm ’24

This year is the second year the Open house It is not a secret that the girls of Ramaz are known to flout the dress code guidelines and that the dress code is often mostly disregarded. The girls’ dress code was sent out in an email to students and parents before the start of the school year. It states that “For girls, the dress code requires a dress or blouse/shirt and skirt. Slacks, cutoffs, and divided skirts may not be worn. Skirts should be approaching the knee, whether sitting or standing, whether wearing tights or leggings.”

The student preludes handbook states that, “the Ramaz dress code reflects the seriousness of purpose with which all students should approach their time in school, as well as halakhic norms of dress for both boys and girls. Dress, grooming, and personal cleanliness standards contribute to the dignity of the learning environment at Ramaz. Students are expected to present a clean, neat, and professional appearance.”

Walking down the halls of Ramaz, it is evident that there is little consideration given to the details of the dress code. Many girls wear whatever they want with a skirt that is inches away from their knees. A few weeks ago the “Ladies of Ramaz” received an email reminding them of the dress code and what is unacceptable dress for school. The email specifically highlighted that pants worn under skirts must be tight as opposed to loose pants, like sweatpants, and that shirts must be long enough to cover one’s midriff and reach one’s knees. Ms. Krupka, the Dean of Faculty, said that, “the email’s purpose was to set the tone for the school. It was just this feeling of like, wait a minute, where are we drawing the line about the way we should present ourselves in school? So the email was primarily meant to target the pajama pants under skirts, but we included the rest of the formal dress code rules knowing very well that there are aspects of the dress code that are followed very loosely.”

The administration takes a more hands-off approach when it comes to enforcing the dress code for both boys and girls. An exception to this trend has been kippot for boys; not wearing a kippah could result in a write-up in the office. However, the administration has not skirted a girl in the last few years. Ms. Krupka added that she does not want to build an atmosphere where girls are constantly being skirted. In the past few years, the dress code for both the girls and boys has become more laxed; hoodies were unbanned, and boys are no longer required to wear ties and button-down shirts. Ms. Krupka and the administration acknowledge the importance of being comfortable throughout a long school day. 

At the last Student and Faculty Advisory Committee (SFAC) meeting, the dress code was discussed. As a result of the discussion, a team comprised of students and faculty was assembled to brainstorm how the dress code can maintain the dignity of the school while allowing students to feel comfortable in their clothing.

How does the girls’ dress code at Ramaz compare to that of other schools in the Yeshiva circuit? At SAR, the girls’ dress code is almost identical to ours, however, the administration has been known to enforce the skirt length policy more. Though this year, their administration has chosen to let girls use their judgment to wear the right skirts. 

Some female students of Ramaz were asked how they feel about the current state of the dress code at Ramaz. Rebecca Kalimi ‘23 feels that the dress code is reasonable considering that Ramaz is a private, Jewish school. Furthermore, Rebecca thinks that it should be more strongly enforced. “I think that the dress code should be enforced to a certain extent because Ramaz is a Jewish school. I think that if someone is wearing a skirt that does not follow the dress code, Ms. Krupka or someone of authority should speak to them privately after school about following the dress code,” said Rebecca.

When asked about how she feels about the girls’ dress code, specifically skirts, Alissa Rose ‘24 said, “I understand it, but I still don’t like it. I think it’s counterintuitive that we’re not allowed to wear sweatpants under our skirts but are forced to wear tights or leggings, which are less tznius. I understand that Ramaz is a religious school but being forced to wear a skirt feels really restrictive and limiting, so skirts are merely accomplishing nothing but enforcing gender roles.” Alissa added that she is glad the school does not enforce the skirt length as they understand everyone adheres to a different level of religious observance.