September 20, 2017

District 214 new pool rules

New rules have been implemented in D214 regarding pool dress codes. The new rules state that all girls wearing a two piece must wear a shirt over her bathing suit, and boys are no longer allowed to wear speedos in the pool. “Who wears a speedo in school for swimming class?” Alicja Sieracka, freshman, asked me when I told her about the new rule regarding speedos. Even though I’ve never seen a speedo during school outside a swim meet, I have seen a lot of two piece and bikinis in the pool over only two years. “I have yet to have a male student wear a speedo,” Diane Rawlinson, dance and yoga teacher said. Despite not having many male students, Ms. Rawlinson has been working at WHS for 24 years. Despite varying opinions, all of the students I interviewed were aware of the new rules for female students but none knew that rule changes were also made for the male students. The new rules for girls are getting noticed by more students because it affects more students, specifically more female students than male.

Another trait all my interviewees shared was that they believed in the right to choose. “I think that if you want to wear a shirt, you can and if you don’t want to, you don’t have to,” Sieracka said.  And it is not the just the female students.

“Girls shouldn’t have to wear shirts in the pool; it should be up to them,” Jimmy Tsogas, junior, said. While the district takes away female students’ right to choose, males still get to decide if they wear a shirt or not.

“If girls have to wear a t-shirt in the pool, guys should too because it’s the same amount of skin,” Regina Sevilla, sophomore, said.

No matter the true reason for the change in rules, most girls think the rule changes are due to their bodies being “distractions.” “Girls should be able to wear what makes them comfortable. The only reason the rule was enforced ( in my opinion) is because it’s too ‘revealing.’”Marisol Ruiz, freshman said.  I refuse to believe that the school officials wanted to objectify their students’ bodies, but it does not matter because the student body thinks they are.

The new rules do not only bother the female students, male students finds it unfair as well. Unlike some of their female counterparts, male students do not think that they should have to wear t-shirts in the pool. However, they do not think their female peers negatively affecting their learning environment either.  “You see (girls in two pieces) when you go to public pools all the time. “We’re in the water most of the time, so there’s nothing to be distracted by even if she was wearing a bikini,” Solomon Kong, freshman. Male students also believe that their female peers should have the right to chose what they wear in the pool like they do. “If he or she doesn’t want to wear a shirt then he or she should be forced to wear a shirt.” Kong says.

We have gone years in the passed without these rules, and I have not heard any horror stories of girls losing their top or boys losing their speedo bottoms in the pool. At the end of the day, it does not matter what the real motive for the new pool rule are, it only matters what the students think the motives are. The school needs to trust that the student body will make appropriate enough choices in swimwear and treat their peers with respect.

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