Juniors Sent Home for Wearing Onesies

11th graders were served with tardies and asked to leave school after violating the dress code.


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A collection of snap stories and other photos from the student body about the pre-halloween problem.

Thursday night, Westminster juniors encouraged their friends and peers to wear a onesie for their Friday dress down. A message was sent out in the class GroupMe urging juniors to wear their favorite onesie instead of (or with) the flannel dress down theme. “Doing something as small as dressing alike is something we just thought would be so cool to see. So we spread the word and came to school the next day in onesies,” said Jordan Williams, junior. But, when 11th graders showed up this morning wearing their comfy pajamas, they did not obtain the reaction they sought.

Administration shot down the onesies immediately, instructing anyone wearing one to either go home and change or take it off and change at school but receive a tardy. Students were outraged, claiming to be unaware of the rule they were being punished for. The intention was simply attempting a fun class bonding activity by wearing a themed outfit.

The annoyance does not merely arise from the fact that they had to change, but that most were being punished for a rule they did not know existed. If students are expected to follow the rules, they believe they should have those guidelines made clear to them. “I was mad because I was wearing very modest clothing and my outfit was not inappropriate,” said Emily Griege, junior, who had to take off her onesie at school and receive a tardy. Another junior, Gabby Merrifield, had to purchase a pair of sweatpants from the bookstore because she lives too far away from school to drive all the way home and back. Many students understandably assumed that if their onesies were modest and loose-fitting, then they would be following the guidelines still.

Others were upset by this because they were forced to go home in the middle of the day to change when they had important tests. “For me that’s when I truly felt agitated. I live more than thirty minutes away from the school and I’d been missing a math lesson over a onesie,” said Williams. These interruptions seemed too severe a punishment for most, disrupting their schoolwork and interfering with schedules. Juniors started complaining about this in the class group chat, and news of the mass onesie problem spread like a wildfire.

Why are these onesies such a big deal? Is there a point to sending students home for a seemingly minor violation? Well, the Dress Down Standards document, included in the morning announcements, outlines clothing that is not permitted—including crop tops, jeans with holes, and pajamas alongside onesies. The “why” from the document that best fits this scenario is “modesty/professionalism—this is still a place of learning.” The guidelines are given so Westminster can keep a face of professionalism on out-of-uniform days. If these guidelines are not followed, then administration technically has the right to take Friday dress down days away for good.

The anger, though, comes from the punishment, not the rule itself. The fact that students’ busy days were so abruptly interrupted by having to drive home and come back to school, likely missing tests and quizzes, seems like an overbearing punishment for students wearing onesies to school. Administration may have had the right intention for both the rule and the punishment, but maybe what they deserved instead was a, “hey this is against dress code, don’t wear it again,” or “this is what the handbook says, if you have something to change into please do but if not just don’t wear it next time.” Junior students did not have the intention to break the rules—it was simply a fun way to connect to each other that was unfortunately a violation of dress code guidelines.