Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dressing Down The Educational System

School's back in session for most young people in the US, but many of the kids have already been sent back out because of their clothes. At least 128 kids at one Indiana school broke the code du dress on the first day of school and were suspended straight away.

I'm glad to find out so many years after high school that the focus of the administration and faculty is still squarely on education. That district's school board president, Rebecca Ward, stated as much when she said of the suspensions, "I'd be supportive if half the school was sent home... our schools are for education."


It seems some school officials are so concerned about the potentially detrimental effects of youthful fashion choices on education that they are actually willing to make students miss lessons, assignments and tests over it. Again, that's missing part of their education over something that may impact their education in some obscure way.

I quote Chris Squire: "Fucking brilliant."

And by the way, shouldn't that be "if half the school were sent home," Miss Ward? Maybe you need to spend more time in class and less time worrying about who's showin' they ass, eh?

We had the same situation in my high school, with the exact same rationale. It made no sense to me then and makes no sense to me now. The most common "send homes" were girls whose skirts went above their knees when they were seated; skirts had to stay below the knee at all times.

Toward the end of one year, some guys decided to pull a stunt and wear skirts to school - skirts that were "within code," as they went past the knee. Yeah, they were sent home.
Sorry, wrong gender. No fashion "statements" allowed.
But I did admire their spirit. If I were (see what I did there, Miss Ward?) in high school today I'd be tempted to wear a kilt and insist it was my birthright. Ha!

Today I see public grade school kids waiting for the bus in uniforms and it ticks me off. We've got lousy test scores and underachievement all over the place and all the schools can think to do is squash any trace of individuality in the students.

I should explain for those who haven't read my previous posts on the subject that I think school uniforms are fascist and, further, have no place at all in public schools. And though the original topic here wasn't uniforms but dress code violations, it's really the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

Well, at least some of those grade school kids get to wear shorts as part of their uniforms. I never did. Lucky little buggers!

10 comments:

rusty shakelford said...

if test scores and underachievement upsets you then why do you want to keeps schools the way they have always been? Perhaps more personal discipline can help kids learn in school.

Pete Bogs said...

rusty ford - in case you didn't get it from reading the post, I don't believe that old-fashioned crap about better education through fashion control... and it's not the way they've always been... kids had to dress up for public school back in the day... watch those 50s hygiene films, etc. jeans weren't allowed in some until the 70s... woo...

Bird said...

the purpose of a dress code (in my mind) is to provide teenagers with something irrelevant to rebell against. distract them with the unimportant stuff.then they won't rebell against the stuff that really matters to the authorities. a dress code is a red herring.

last summer, when i taught high schoolers in a special college course, some of my colleagues were concerned about the attire of one girl. granted, she showed a lot a skin, (butt-crack and boob-crack, and a bit of the belly), but she really wasn't showing any more skin than her female peers. however, she moved differently - she was aware of how sexy she was - she exuded sex. she was punished by a few of my male colleagues, i believe, not for showing skin, but for being sexy. and these teachers also felt she was a distraction to the boys. probably so, but so what? by punishing her (publicly) the message these male teachers sent to the young men was that men simply can't control themselves around a sexy woman - thus the woman must be punished, to protect the men. f*&%k that bulls&*%!

now, i could see if the other young women in the program had been admonished to change their dress (frankly, i dont think showing a lot of skin is very professional and a college campus is a professional environment) - but that's not what happened.

Pete Bogs said...

bird - is this butt-crack girl over 18, and do you think she might be one of those "wanton women" of your ilk? I'm just asking is all... lol

I have to recall a previous post where I said that teachers who complain that kids chewing gum was distracting were crybabies... you agreed with them, as I recall... can you not see how, from a male teacher's POV especially, a young woman wearing, say, a very short skirt and sitting close to the front of the class might provide a distraction to his teaching? I for one could never be a teacher... I am a "starer," and would be called down in no time...

Bird said...

my beef in the case of this particular girl is that she was made a scapegoat - other girls showed as much skin as she, but because they weren't as sexy, received no admonishments or punishment. hence, this girl was punished not because her dress was inappropriate, but because she was sexy. see the difference?

there were young men in this program that were sexy - it wasn't their dress -rather the way they carried themselves, their demeanor, their charm.they weren't punished for being sexy in a masculine way. why was this girl punished for being sexy in a feminine way (under the guise of inappropriate dress).

i think some of the male teachers in this program were aroused by this young woman and took it out on her, rather than examining, or simply acknowleging and then dealing with their own sexuality. idiots.

Hellpig said...

I think the red herring is the dress code itself taking the attention off the poor educators who can't seem to teach students anything..And if the students do learn anything it is usually a liberal agenda brainwashing the young minds of students with anti-america and down w/Bush rhetoric

Pete Bogs said...

bird - I'm sure they were aroused; I was aroused just writing my previous comments... and reading your descriptive comments... lol...

but I agree it's not fair to single one person out...

hell - my high school principal/dress code enforcer was a Ronald Reagan Republicant...

Hellpig said...

And see how well you turned out...now shoulkdn't you want that kind of education for your nephews one that isn't leftwing rhetoric like we see oh so often from whackjob teachers going off the far end in the media...I'm just saying

Pete Bogs said...

hell - how did I turn out? lol

I have a built-in resentment toward arbitrary rules as a result of dealing with consternos in my youth... the seeds of discontent were sown early... so, I "turned out" to be a liberal...

CROAK said...

Finally I can get onto your comments again. Two days and I was scratching at the walls.
So instead I put something on my own blog about this one.

Cheers