P.E. department splashes into a new dress code for swimming

No longer will bikinis or the ever-popular sports bra and shorts look grace the waters of the Staples High School pool.

For the 2013-2014 school year the physical education department mandated that in the freshman and sophomore swimming units, one must wear one-piece bathing suits.

Girls who want to wear bikinis must cover them with tee shirts, but boys can continue to swim bare-chested.

P.E. Chairman David Gusitsch said that the policy change was something that had been discussed in the past. “The timing was right for us to make the change,” he said.

Libby Russ, school nurse, assisted the Physical Education department in making a decision and said that it’s difficult to swim in a bikini, in the physically vigorous way required in P.E. class.

In addition, she said she also believes the change to the dress code for girls increases comfort for both genders. Many girls in the past had asked to be excused from the unit, and Russ said it seems that now there are fewer such requests.

Many girls  were unhappy with the policy change.  Miranda Saunders ’16 said that the new policy did not change her comfort level and that the restrictions were an extra unnecessary cost.

“I thought it was a stupid rule because most girls have to waste 30 bucks for a swimsuit that they will only ever wear for gym,” said Saunders.  Most athletic one-pieces from Sports Authority cost upward of $60.

Julia Beck ’17 said she would prefer to wear a two-piece bathing suit, but she understands the reasoning for the change. “It takes a lot of pressure off the girls,” she said. “Nobody’s concerned about if they look different from anyone else.”