Uniform changes for 2023-2024 include removal of skirts, addition of navy pants


Earlier this month, DePaul Prep’s administration announced changes to the school uniform for next school year. In an email addressing this change on May 19, school President Mary Dempsey wrote that skirts and skorts will not be a uniform option. This was in response to multiple student discipline infractions related to how skirts were being worn.  

Although this decision may be surprising to some, it wasn’t made suddenly. 

Dempsey explained: “We have been talking about the data and analyzing and talking about what we’ve seen in terms of the infractions. It’s been an ongoing conversation for many years.” 

Specifically, the school administration looked at detention rates and saw an increase over the past years. This data has been collected for nine years. 

“We saw no improvement at all. At a certain point we have to say this is not the best use of our time,” concluded Dempsey. 

Dempsey also explained that the student government was involved in the decision process. 

“Dr. Stanton-Anderson and I meet regularly with Student Government and so we brought it up to them in a meeting earlier this year that we were looking into this [issue].” This was a factor in deciding this new policy, explained Dempsey.  “When we brought this to the student government earlier in the year there was a consensus that there was a problem.” 

Students still have many options for making choices with their uniform even with skirts being banned. 

“We have a liberal dress code,” Dempsey said. “You can wear pants – navy or khaki – you can wear quarter zips, long polos, short sleeves polos, DePaul Prep hoodies on Fridays, gym shoes — gyms shoes was another concession we made — and you don’t have to tuck your shirt in.” 

“It is not a punishment,” she explained. “It’s a recognition of reality. And there are other Catholic high schools that have done the same thing.” She hopes the new skirt policy will have a future positive impact. 

Furthermore, the student government collaborated with the school administration on the decision to add navy pants to the uniform so students have more options. 

In the view of junior Brooklyn Forbes, the addition of navy pants is a helpful addition. “I understand the reasoning for them because some girls during their time of the month are scared of bleeding through khaki pants. I think it’s a good thing they included them.” 

Yet, Forbes feels that banning skirts all out is extreme. 

“I think there are better ways to discipline skirts like a tally system, where certain girls are restricted from wearing them. I understand the concept behind it, but I think that so many schools do it [allow skirts] that there has to be a way to make it work.”

Sophomore Samantha Rodriguez expressed that she feels her uniform options have been limited. “For my freshman year and sophomore year I had a mix between the skirts and pants. I am going to miss the level of choice I had, because sometimes the pants aren’t the most comfortable.” 

Freshmen Maisie Prugh and Anna Stecky echoed Rodriguez’s perspective on the extra choice that skirts have provided.

“I think that having the option to choose between them [skirts or pants] creates more inclusivity, but limiting it to having no skirts excludes people who would like to wear skirts,” said Prugh.

“I think it decreases the diversity of the uniform and how we can choose to be creative because now you only have pants,” said Stecky.

As DePaul College Prep continues to grow, students will likely experience adjustments to policies, just as the uniform has changed for next year.