Finally, Shalhevet welcomes blue jeans


Bp photo by Ezra Fax

DENIM: Sophmore Micha Thau dons blue jeans, which boys can now wear.

By Alec Fields, Staff Writer

Many years, one proposal, two Town Halls and an administration meeting later, on Oct. 29 Shalhevet joined the majority of other high schools in the United States and allowed students to wear blue jeans.

For most of its history, the Shalhevet dress code barred male students from wearing jeans at all, though the subject of dress code was debated almost every year.  Beginning in 2012, denim was allowed but not in blue.

Now, blue is allowed, provided that it is neither nor torn, nor light blue.

Student reaction was mostly relief.

“It is a good thing that blue jeans were allowed, but Shalhevet is not being the trailblazer,” said senior Shana Chriki. “We are just catching up to everyone else.”

Agenda Committee Vice Chair Micah Gill introduced this year’s blue jeans proposal at Town Hall Sept. 23.

“The fact that we could wear any color jeans, but we weren’t allowed to wear blue jeans, was just inconsistent, and I thought it was silly and there had to be a change,” Micah said in an interview.

Students and faculty engaged in a lively discussion at the meeting. Some felt that blue jeans were just too casual for a high school dress code.

“There’s a standard that the school needs to abide by,” said senior Sigal Spitzer.  “It just reflects a lack of seriousness and a lack of sophistication.  Blue jeans are clothes you wear on a Sunday, clothes you wear to a friend’s house, not clothes you wear to school.”

Even students who favored the proposal didn’t think blue jeans were the best choice for school.

“I’m not opposed to the blue jeans proposal,” said sophomore Alex Reich, “but guys look a lot more casual and less put together than they would have with the former dress code.”

“I don’t necessarily have a problem with [boys] wearing blue jeans,” said senior Rachel Glouberman.  “Yes, I think that it’s a little dressed down, but I think it’s much better than being allowed to wear shorts.”A handful of students thought jeans were just a step above shorts.

“You just look too casual when you are walking around in blue jeans… like it’s Sunday,” said junior Boaz WIllis.

Nevertheless, the proposal passed at the Oct. 23 Town Hall by a substantial margin.

“There were roughly twice as many votes in favor the proposal as against,” said Agenda Chair Max Helfand.  The paper ballots were counted during the meeting by Micah Gill and Fairness Committee Co-Chair Goldie Fields.

Less than a week after the Town Hall vote, which was only advisory in nature. Max Helfand posted on Schoology the Administration’s response.  The administration approved the blue jeans resolution with three additions:  it does not apply to teachers, the Fairness Committee should create consequences for male students out of dress code and students will monitor other students for compliance with the dress code.   How they would do this was not specified.

So far, the Fairness Committee has yet to establish penalties for students violating dress code.  Still, General Studies Principal and Just Community adviser Mr. Roy Danovitch thought the process had worked.

“I like the result and I thought it was a good reflection on the Just Community,” said Mr. Danovitch.

Three other dress code ideas were also raised at the Sept. 23 Town Hall.  Mr. Jason Feld, Coordinator of Ed Tech and Curricular Integration, proposed creating a committee to design a Shalhevet school uniform.

And prompted by the September heat wave, students proposed allowing boys to wear shorts and T-shirts.

“Shorts would be a lot more comfortable,” said sophomore Noah Suissa.

Students first voted on those on Oct. 3, through the website  But the results were invalidated by the Agenda and Fairness Committees.

“The integrity of the online poll was compromised,” said Goldie Fields.  “After a ninth-grader claimed that a YULA student voted on the poll, the results could not be counted.”

A second vote was taken during Town Hall Oct. 7 and counted Oct. 28.

Students rejected the uniform and shorts proposals. But the T-shirt proposal passed by 27 votes.

The administration has not yet reviewed the results and issued its findings.