The sun scorches as students trudge from class to class. Nearly everyone embraces the new season with bare arms, pulling out tank tops, shorts and flip flops. In the middle of the crowd, stands a girl wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans. Despite standing out, she confidently joins the throngs of bare-legged students in the race to class.
Whether it is because of culture, religion or parental restrictions, some students at the high school who cannot wear as revealing clothing have become comfortable in being different and accepting their values.
Sophomore Ayman Jagani wears a headscarf, called a hijab, in public. According to Jagani, the dress code, as recommended by the Quran, entails modesty for all genders.
“These are in place to preserve modesty, and it’s a form of respect and freedom. I get to choose what parts of me others get to see,” Jagani said. “Also, Islam doesn’t only have a dress code for women, but for men too, they’re supposed to keep a beard and more traditionally wear a long dress and cap.”
Sophomore Komal Wasif does not wear a headscarf, but she still follows other Islamic values of modesty.
“I’m Muslim, so I can’t show or reveal a lot of my legs and skin. I tend to wear full sleeves, and my pants usually go down to my ankle,” Wasif said.
Junior Amber Blu does not have strict rules, but a common understanding in her household is to dress appropriately at school.
“My parents’ restrictions are not too extreme. They just don’t want me to go out in something that’s not appropriate, especially if it’s for school,” Blu said.
According to Jagani and Wasif, although it was difficult at first, now they are not tempted to break their dress codes.
“Originally, I didn’t follow these dress restrictions, but I gave it a try around three years ago and I ended up liking it and sticking with it,” Jagani said.
Freshman Alishah Khan has had the influence of her parents, but her own opinions have been the main contribution to her clothing choices. She makes sure not to reveal her skin, a decision she is comfortable with.
Khan also said she had the dilemma of sportswear, since the uniforms with the school name are required, but they are usually too revealing for her to wear.
“The uniform is a tank top and shorts. “ Khan said. ”I just wear a long sleeved shirt under the tank top, and the only requirement is that you have to wear the tank top because it has the school’s name on it. I just wear a shirt under and it’s fine,”
According to Jagani, dress codes can come with a great deal of misconceptions. She receives many questions, ranging from why she wears a hijab to if she wears it in the shower.
Jagani said that when she first started wearing a headscarf, there were not that many active stereotypes. Today, she has to deal with stereotypes that connect the headscarf to terrorism.
“I’ve had people give me suspecting looks, and people blatantly telling me that Muslims who condemn ISIS are a minority,” Jagani said.
Wasif said that though the environment at the high school is welcoming, people are occasionally not as accepting as she would like.
“I get really negative reactions.” Wasif said. “People are like, ‘Are you crazy? You’re gonna die!’ and then some people say that I’m part of a terrorist group because I’m not showing my skin,”
According to Jagani, her dress rules benefit her identity as a Muslim.
“It gives me a sense of confidence to be different than everyone else, and reinforces my identity, and that I should be proud of who I am,” Jagani said.
For Khan, her dress code teaches her to be an individual in high school, especially when others wear shorts during the summer.
“I don’t have to, and I really like that it’s a personal thing.” Khan said. “You do you and I’ll do me.”