Put the dogs away
By Mackenzie Guadagno, Reporter
Students throughout Vashon Island High School (VHS) have individual and unique styles that fluctuate and change with trends and weather. Fashion can be an art, and unfortunately art can upset people. When people decide to artistically express themselves by wearing scandals and having their feet out it makes people upset. Feet are abnormal which makes people uncomfortable when they are visible. They are also subject to injury and sharing of germs when they are out at school. So, with few exceptions, school is a place where people should be free of seeing other individuals’ toes.
Regardless of the school they attend, students throughout the years have experienced changes in dress code. Currently, the dress code of Vashon High School requires a top, bottoms, and some sort of shoes, which is pretty standard for high schools. A loose dress code is important because it allows students to express themselves artistically and creatively. The problem with this is that it doesn’t require students to wear socks.
There are certain social norms that become deeply rooted into peoples culture and personal preferences which cause people to become uncomfortable with seeing other peoples feet. While not all cultural backgrounds and personal preferences match up with these ideals, showing one’s feet to their peers isn’t exactly a necessity. This isn’t about certain feet being more unattractive than others’ either; even if someone had perfect feet it would still be uncomfortable to have them out because they are still feet. It would also be unfair to allow some people to have their feet out and not others.
Not only do feet make people uncomfortable, it’s also unsanitary and unsafe. Feet have a large amount of nerve endings which makes it easy for someone to get hurt in a very sensitive part of their body. Having shoes on keeps people safe, and the safest option is to cover the entire foot.
In addition, there are 421,000 different kinds of bacteria on the average foot. So having feet out in school creates an environment where bacteria like this can spread and thrive. This creates more opportunity for the sharing of germs between students. It’s doubtful most people know the cleaning routines done at the school and without that essential information how can one say that it is safe to have their feet out?
Even with the safety issue, there are a few exceptions to the no feet rule. However, many of these exceptions are only outside of school so if someone is looking for a reason to have their feet out at school this is not the place. One such example is if it is summer and one is not at school. Here, it is fine to have one’s feet out simply because it is no one else’s business to set rules in public places. School is different, however, because it is required for students to be there.
If someone has a pedicure it is still not okay to have their feet out at school because it would be unfair to allow some people to have their feet out while others couldn’t. Also, feet will almost always make people uncomfortable but at a certain point it is just too hot to wear socks. That being said, Vashon is a cold place, there are very few circumstances when it is over 80 degrees and school is in session. If this was the case more often, students should be allowed to have their feet out. Sandals and flip flops can be okay in those circumstances. But any other shoe without socks is not.
People wear shoes with socks because it protects the socks from bacteria or excessive sweat. This not only keeps shoes clean but it is also easier to clean socks than the insides of shoes. So when people are wearing shoes that aren’t open-toed – like Vans or Converse, they should make sure they wear socks.
Crocs are a very popular shoe for people in high school and are famous for their comfort despite their unattractiveness. But because crocs aren’t open toed or fully closed, the rules surrounding sock usage are unclear. It’s almost as if crocs are just close enough for it to be okay to go without socks, except everyone has to see that someone isn’t wearing socks. With crocs, the holes in the shoes make it obvious one isn’t wearing socks.
Everyone has a different opinion on this topic because people have different comfort levels and personal values. But, the thought of hundreds of people with their feet exposed in a place you’re required to be at by law isn’t something that sounds sanitary or safe. So, please, put the dogs away.