Westridge Implements Consequences for Uniform Violations — But Do Students Care?

On April 7, 2021, Mr. Gary Baldwin, Head of Upper School, sent out an email warning that “students who are out of uniform multiple days will be disciplined.” However, as time has passed, the thought of disciplinary measures seems to have slipped the mind of students. 

This was the third email sent out in response to the increase in the number of uniform violations from previous school years. Mr. Baldwin’s earlier two emails regarding uniform violations consisted only of warnings. Ms. Bonnie Martinez, Dean of Upper School Student Life, said that the most recent email contained warnings of disciplinary action because “people are still out of uniform egregiously.”

Ms. Ashley Leonard, Upper School Assistant, recalls that towards the end of the year, there tend to be more uniform violations as everyone cannot wait for school to end. However, “it’s a little excessive this year.” She believes that the year of online learning could have contributed to the many uniform violations this year. “Coming back from Covid, we were all used to wearing whatever we wanted for a year.” 

 Ms. Martinez explained that students would stay more in uniform for about three weeks after an email was sent out. However, more violations would return after that period. 

Charisma C. ’22, the current ASB President, said that it would “benefit everyone on campus” if students followed uniform rules. ASB worked with Ms. Coker to develop a solution on how to monitor and check on uniform violations at school. They concluded that having a consequence in the form of either a letter of behavioral warning or a talk with a student’s advisor would be the best solution. ASB and the administration hope that the consequences will encourage students to stay in the uniform long-term.

Although disciplinary measures have been put in place, monitoring uniform violations remains an issue. Ms. Martinez said that “not a ton” of teachers had reported a lot of uniform violations since the email was sent out. 

Despite efforts, students have not noticed an increase in uniform monitoring by teachers. Some teachers say they prefer just telling the student if they see a student out of the dress code rather than marking it officially. Mrs. Michelle Amos, Upper School chemistry teacher, stated, “If I tell a student when I see them out of uniform, they typically fix it.” 

“I have been dress-coded once since [the email was sent out], but it wasn’t by a teacher, it was by a member of administration,” Nitya C. ’23 said. Other students also note that administrators have been paying closer attention to uniform violations compared to teachers. When asked if they noticed teachers being more strict with regard to uniforms, an anonymous Upper School student said, “No, but I have noticed the administrators have been more strict.” 

Isabella H. ’23 noticed that, as with previous attempts, “[The dress code situation] got better for maybe a week.” While the new regulation on uniform violation has only been around for less than two months, many students seem to have forgotten about it already.