Student Petitions LISD Dress Code


Audrey Sharek

LISD Dress Code Policy found on the LISD website and in the student handbook

Editor’s note: This photo was named an excellent news story in the 2022 TAJE Best of Texas contest. 

To bring attention to the dress code, senior Emily Cottenden sent out a petition on Aug. 13 among students to protest some of the policies of the dress code. 

Cottenden has over 200 signatures for her petition. After creating the petition, she sent it and a formal letter to Principal Dr. Tim Baxter, to bring light to the problem students are facing.

“I noticed that my friends who were female-presenting got dress codes at a significantly higher rate than my male presenting friends,” Cottenden said. “I wanted to do something about it. I had a meeting with the principals and I talked to them about the dress code, and my viewpoints and they said that it is district policy, but, when they’re working on policies for next year they would love to involve me in conversations about how to improve the dress code.”

Assistant Principal, Tricia Felicien, is one of the principals that enforces the dress code everyday. 

“It’s just to prevent students from being distracted,” Felicien said. “To just make sure the environment is one where it’s about learning and not inhibiting anybody from reaching their potential during the instructed time period.”

Although many students are against this year’s dress code, some agree with it. Freshman Shelley Hua acknowledges the rules have a purpose. 

I wouldn’t change the dress code,” Hua said. ”I believe the dress code helps the environment in Lewisville stay appropriate and safe.”

Of the students who signed the petition, Senior Summer Wayne participated in it as well. Wayne believes that the dress code is unreasonable and that it should change.

“I just want to walk in here comfortably according to the weather, I don’t want to walk in here every day wearing sweatpants and a jacket,” Wayne said, “I think it’s sexist and does disproportionately affect females and the female students here, you’re singling them out, and you’re not treating them like everybody else is treated. I don’t think that is necessarily fair.”

The dress code stands as it is this year, but it could possibly change next year. Cottenden hopes she can one day help establish a new dress code.

“I would hope that the things that I’m doing would show people at other schools that it’s okay to stand up in what you believe in,” Cottenden said.