Opinion: New dresscode, bedroom policies hold greater disadvantage

Daniela Abrams, Reporter

CESJDS has employed stricter policies regarding the dress code and students’ bedrooms for virtual learning this school year. Many students feel very strongly about these new policies because they feel violated in the comfort in their own homes, where they have spent the majority of their time for the past six months. 

The bedroom rule makes sense in some situations. During core classes, you should not be allowed to lay in your bed. This shows a lack of respect for the teacher and is also known to be a less productive space for students, as beds are usually a place of leisure. 

However, the part of the policy that requires students to put a virtual background on their screen does not benefit the classroom environment in any way. Students cannot change the layout of their room, and very often their bed happens to be in the background. Requiring a virtual background does not do anything but disrupt a student’s focus and distract the other students in the class. 

I find that when I see a peer with a virtual background, I end up paying more attention to their screen than I do to the teacher. I have started countless classes where teachers take up the beginning of class commenting on students’ virtual backgrounds. Additionally, the virtual background only works on solid-color walls, and will often cover the participant’s face if there is art or pictures in the back. 

As students are in their own homes, they should get to decide if they are wearing kippot. While it is important for classes like Zman Kodesh and Talmud, you are often unable to even see the kippah over Zoom. Whether or not students wear kippot in their personal spaces should be up to them. 

The ban on pajamas is also something that is ineffective and does not benefit the classroom environment. I do not find myself paying attention to what others are wearing. This rule only upsets students who feel that they do not get enough time in the morning to get ready, especially because students have yet to adjust to the early mornings, the constant sitting in place and the stress of getting on the correct Zoom call at the correct time for long hours each day.  

The dress code policy for girls is more lenient during this time. Girls can wear what they please on the bottom because of Zoom. If you chose to wear something that is out of dress code, it should not matter because the camera mostly picks up on your shoulders and above. I have seen many boys wearing tank tops who have not been penalized. I feel that if a teacher penalizes a girl for doing so, there would be a problem. 

JDS’ new shift in policies has mostly accommodated different students’ needs during these difficult times. However, some of the dress code and bedroom policies do not hold the students’ best interests and end up invading students’ personal spaces, causing a great distraction as a whole.