Friday, May 25, 2012

Are Schools Crossing A Line?

It seems like everyday there is a new story in the news about a child disciplined and sent home for what they are wearing.  It has become a hot topic on many social networking sights with various parents chiming in on right or wrong.

When it comes to government, there is a big voice demanding it step out of our homes.  Let us live our lives as long as we are doing no harm to others.   So why do so many jump in to defend schools for doing the same things with our children?

Now I understand dress codes.  I even like some aspects of a dress code.  It does encourage self discipline, better hygiene habits, and keep children from picking on someone for not having the right label on their jeans. However, uniforms are taken too far when they take away our children's sense of identity, their individuality.  Let's just look at one photo of a little girl who's school told her she could not be in her class photo:

What is wrong with that hair? Nothing.  It may not be my choice of style but it expressed who this child was and how she wanted her class mates to remember her.  Rather than having the exact same look as all the other children, she wanted to stand out in her class photos.  Is that such a terrible thing? To want to be yourself? To be true to yourself?

And let's get our lawyer book out and read the rules.  No braids or plaits, ribbons in hair must be certain colors. Hmmm.  This is NOT a braid.  This is NOT a plait.  There are NO ribbons in her hair.  Technically this broke no rules.  Yet a principal (one person) was given the chance to make a judgement call and did so.  With no listening to the parent's rationale or reasoning.

Let's take a look at another incident which involved a high school young lady.  She was sent home for being in violation of the school dress code that her skirt was too short.  However, when measured her skirt was TWO inched LONGER than the dress code specified.
Yet parents are still defending the school's decision and berating the father who posted this on his blog as if he were a terrible parent for making a big deal of the issue.  But was he wrong? Was he right? Are schools going too far?

Now, I do agree that some uniform codes are necessary.  No one wants their teenage son sitting next to a girl in chemistry who is giving him a full view of every asset God gave her.  So in that regard schools do need a sense of proper dressing.  They do need to enforce those things.  But in these cases I find nothing improper here.  Just individuals expressing themselves by their clothing choices.  And that brings me to my point.

I think more school environments are doing everything they can to stifle children as individuals.  Children are not supposed to question the science teacher that is teaching evolution.  They are not supposed to ask hard questions.  They are not supposed to be themselves.  The war is starting with minor clothing choices and if parents ignore the blatant abuse of these policies by their makers, then they are allowing a precedent to be set that they will all regret at some point.  When their child is an adult machine who goes through rotes each day rather than enjoys life.  When their child has become a government robot not an educated, risk taking, question asking voter.   So before you defend a bad judgement call because it is coming from a principal, superintendent, or school board - look at the entire issue.  Then ask yourself what precedent this sets for our future? Our children's future?  Our grand children?

Make no mistake that this is a cog in a wheel.  However, it is okay to support boys wearing slacks and collared shirts and still say sending a girl home for violations that are clearly not violations is okay!  It is okay to buck the system.  Ask questions.  If this were your child it is your choice to blog or not to blog.  To get angry or be accepting but you shouldn't cast judgement on a parent who does ask questions or does ask how far we will allow this to go?  Because it's an important issue that goes a little deeper than what you see on the surface.

Furthermore, this is setting a precedent for peer bullying.  If you don't believe that then look up the story of what happened to a BYU student for wearing a modern, modest dress at the university library.  I will even link it here:

Not only were his actions despicable but they border on bully behavior.  It was encouraged and taught to him by schools and authority figures.  Was he wrong?  Or were the people who brought him up that way the ones who should be answering to this young lady for the note she got?

Just some food for thought...............