We can show compassion with alliance.

By Editorial Board

What we choose to wear is often so much more than just clothes. It can be a form of self expression. Clothes bring us comfort and confidence, and can serve as a creative outlet and art form. Whether it is a graphic T-shirt or a blazer, what we wear sends a message to students and staff before we even introduce ourselves.

In light of controversy surrounding the dress code at UAHS, we should take this as an opportunity to grow as a community.

If we can agree that our clothes are a form of self expression, we must show kindness and empathy regarding what we wear in the same way we are told to show kindness and empathy regarding how we talk, think, learn and grow as people. We can encourage a culture where we know sticking up for kindness will never fail us. For example, when a female student at UAHS got dress coded for wearing a crop top, her male friend came to school wearing the same shirt to make a statement.

By stands like these, we as a school and a community are able to grow together and learn from each other, just as clothes can teach others about yourself.

So try to learn, not only by noticing the expression of others or seeing what they have to share, but not letting their clothing be the only thing that speaks for them. To encourage this culture of kindness, the culture of judgements and ignorance must end. Just like academics, it all starts with learning: sharing and trying to have others do the same. Every initiative that the school has taken has attempted to instill
the beliefs of kindness and understanding, but it is time for students to fully endorse those teachings themselves.

You do not need to know every classmate’s story, but take what others have to say and what they have to share deeper than a surface level. There are things to share and you can constantly learn if you are willing to. So start asking questions and fully invest yourself in a conversation. Start noticing what people are trying to say to you even if it’s not through words. This is how that culture starts.

By understanding people, you are less likely to say the wrong thing and make ill-advised judgements about their personality or character. It is worth it when it requires minimal effort and betters the community that you live in.

It all starts from knowing that someone has something to share, because everyone does. It will only foster others to continue down the same path. There are few things that a person can do to make it evident what his or her story is. When you notice one of those cues, it is hard to walk away from a conversation without having learned something.

One’s self-expression is imperative to learning and furthers the culture that the
school desires.

Don’t diminish its power.