DEBATE: Should Saint Paul’s Students Be Allowed to Wear PFG Shorts?

More than 50 students started wearing PFG shorts to school in August 2020. PFG stands for Performance fishing gear and was designed by Columbia. These shorts, at the time, were paid no attention to, primarily due to the distracting masks that students had to wear.

By the conclusion of that year, they grew widely popular with about half of the student body wearing these shorts. By 2021, it is estimated that about 850 of the 900 Saint Paul’s students had worn PFG shorts to school at least once.

That summer, the Saint Paul’s administration decided to ban the PFG shorts, adding language to page 28 of the Saint Paul’s Student Handbook which expressly prohibited PFG shorts. “No PFG or ‘Fishing’ shorts allowed.”

Saint Paul’s was Correct to Ban PFG Shorts (Per Nicholas Beaumont)

Saint Paul’s made the correct decision to ban PFG shorts because they are ugly, sloppy, and ill-fitting.

The shorts had webbed netting on the inside, which caused them to double as bathing suits. Obviously, bathing suits are unacceptable on a school campus.

Additionally, whenever a student would sit, PFG shorts rose no fewer than seven inches above the knee. This caused the netting and the pockets to hang out of the shorts, which looked very sloppy.

Most students wore the shorts daily, so they would have to be durable. However, PFG shorts were not. Most students wore PFG shorts that had stains, holes, rips, and tears throughout most of the fabric. This made the PFG shorts even uglier. The shorts also weren’t a khaki color; they were pale, which means they would stand out if other students were actually wearing proper khaki shorts.

Although the shorts had belt loops, students would roll up the shorts to fit about three to five inches above the knee, making it difficult for the faculty to see if a student was wearing his belt properly.

The shorts were also ill-fitting because they were too high above the knee, which caused students to walk around looking like they had a wedgy they could not get rid of. Students would walk around swinging their legs out or adjusting the groin area constantly because their chafing from the shorts was so intense that they couldn’t walk straight.

For those saying the new school rule is unfair or not ethical, consider other private high school uniforms. Most have to wear pants, a dress shirt, a tie, and dress shoes every day.

Honestly, Saint Paul’s has one of the easiest dress codes of any private school around, so because students can’t wear a bathing suit that restricts blood flow from the waist down, it doesn’t mean it’s unethical or unfair. The school is doing what is best for us and teaching us how to dress properly. Additionally, rules and laws are constantly adjusted in order to be improved.

I’m not the only one who feels this way about the shorts. Saint Paul’s Senior, Banks Neitzschman, says, “This whole PFG business was a bunch of malarkey from the start. These fishing shorts have no place at a prestigious private school such as Saint Pauls.” I completely agree.

Saint Paul’s was NOT Correct to Ban PFG Shorts (Per Sam Drez)

The removal of PFG Shorts has gotten most Saint Paul’s students upset, and for good reasons. For example, Saint Paul’s senior, Trip Walter, is extremely upset. “It’s unfair that I, along with other students, have to go buy other shorts that are required for school instead of wearing PFGs, which are way more comfortable.” 

PFG Shorts became the standard attire for most students at Saint Paul’s in previous years, especially last year. With COVID-19 still on the rise, all of the attention was on the virus. This meant that so many students could get away with uniform infractions.

When the 2021-22 school year came around, a rule against PFG shorts was put into place. It was not until 2022-2023 that newly made principal, Joe Dickens, made it his mission to bring Saint Paul’s back to its former standards, particularly those prior to COVID-19. The ban was enforced much more vigorously. Shorts without zippers or buttons were banned from the school, which made many students purchase new shorts, infuriating much of the student body.

Students should be allowed to wear these wonderful shorts for several reasons.

For starters, almost every student on campus would wear these shorts, so they did not look out of uniform. Also, the shorts were khaki, had pockets, and had a belt loop, which were the primary requirements for standard uniform shorts.

Not only did the students have to spend extra money on new shorts after the school previously allowed them, but the required shorts are far less comfortable.

There is still no definite reason why the administration wanted these shorts gone. If the reason is that they look ugly, that is subjective. If that is the case, then one could make the argument that wearing tennis shoes with the school uniform should not be allowed either. This ban is nothing short of arbitrary.

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