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Author Topic: dress codes and stars oh my (oh koi)  (Read 6623 times)
mandrina
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« Reply #15: September 05, 2008, 08:10:15 am »


Also, the way a very respected teacher (when I was in school) explained things to me is that it is a distraction.  If even one other student saw it and made a connection between it and gangs rather than the religious connection, it could cause problems.  I have heard of schools in this area, switching to uniforms, or presenting this as an option, so that they could avoid this very problem.

I don't think, really, that it is actually a matter of the schools giving power to the gangs, but a symptom of our society (American) as a whole. 

I know Fresno State University is having a devil of a time reclaiming their Bulldog from a gang.

My comment on the distraction thing, is by that logic, one person's wierdness damns an entire religion.  Truthfully, by that logic, one could ban black males.  And as for true distractions, they should ban girls. . . .
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« Reply #16: September 05, 2008, 08:40:50 am »

From my brief time on the semi-admin side of things (ok...as a student teacher), schools seem to have a LOT of power in their dress code requirements.  As long as they can get the majority to agree on a given restriction, they can enforce it, good or bad.  Normally, the majority has to include parents, from what I understand, but as long as those restrictions don't make every parent have to go out and buy all-new clothes for their kids, the school system doesn't get many complaints outside of the kids.

Schools, like any other collective of authority, can actually get away with whatever they can get past the populace. I removed my kids from a public school that instituted a very strict and unnecessary uniform policy... they did it without the knowledge or concent of parents, they enforced it to ridiculous lengths despite protests mostly (from my perspective) because a majority of the school officials enjoy power trips. When more than half of the families whose kids attended this school turned out to be too broke to afford this enforced uniform and the school realized that they would have to provide uniforms, make them affordable etc... it suddenly became a "dress code" because they couldn't afford to provide for so many. So this "dress code" that they insisted would make everything equal between students from families with money as opposed to those students whose familes are consistantly broke failed utterly in the one valid point the officials had... the school still has this dress code and all the issues that came with it.

Of course, this is also a very corrupt area. Definitely one of the worst places I have ever lived in my life, bar none... and I've lived in all four corners of Hollywood lol. This small town is an excellent example of what is wrong throughout our country. Unfortunately, I don't have any great advice for the poster of this thread, but I can tell you that it can get so much worse than what you are dealing with now. I feel it is important to do what you feel is the right thing, but you as an individual need to really define for yourself what is and is not important to you in dealing with your schools, pick your fights with forethought, be willing and creative in pursuit of your goals. For us, this meant moving to a new school district. Expressing one's faith can be important, but a standard recognizable symbol doesn't always hold the most meaning for a given individual either. My Thor's hammer is recognizable to other Pagans, for example, but not to the average person, official or otherwise. My Crow pendant is just a bird to those who don't know to think beyond the image. My oldest daughter's Eye of Horus never caused a single school official to think twice. Depending on how old your kids are, helping them to find a symbol that means something to them personally can be worth a lot more than fighting with a system of authority that is, from my perspective, all about treating the education of our youth as a business and a method of societal control for a more recognizable symbol.

Best of luck to you in however you decide to handle these issues! Don't know how helpful my two cents worth is to you, but I hope you find a resolution you are satisfied with.

Wishing you laughter
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mandrina
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« Reply #17: September 05, 2008, 09:32:53 am »

Schools, like any other collective of authority, can actually get away with whatever they can get past the populace. I removed my kids from a public school that instituted a very strict and unnecessary uniform policy... they did it without the knowledge or concent of parents, they enforced it to ridiculous lengths despite protests mostly (from my perspective) because a majority of the school officials enjoy power trips. When more than half of the families whose kids attended this school turned out to be too broke to afford this enforced uniform and the school realized that they would have to provide uniforms, make them affordable etc... it suddenly became a "dress code" because they couldn't afford to provide for so many. So this "dress code" that they insisted would make everything equal between students from families with money as opposed to those students whose familes are consistantly broke failed utterly in the one valid point the officials had... the school still has this dress code and all the issues that came with it.

Of course, this is also a very corrupt area. Definitely one of the worst places I have ever lived in my life, bar none... and I've lived in all four corners of Hollywood lol. This small town is an excellent example of what is wrong throughout our country. Unfortunately, I don't have any great advice for the poster of this thread, but I can tell you that it can get so much worse than what you are dealing with now. I feel it is important to do what you feel is the right thing, but you as an individual need to really define for yourself what is and is not important to you in dealing with your schools, pick your fights with forethought, be willing and creative in pursuit of your goals. For us, this meant moving to a new school district. Expressing one's faith can be important, but a standard recognizable symbol doesn't always hold the most meaning for a given individual either. My Thor's hammer is recognizable to other Pagans, for example, but not to the average person, official or otherwise. My Crow pendant is just a bird to those who don't know to think beyond the image. My oldest daughter's Eye of Horus never caused a single school official to think twice. Depending on how old your kids are, helping them to find a symbol that means something to them personally can be worth a lot more than fighting with a system of authority that is, from my perspective, all about treating the education of our youth as a business and a method of societal control for a more recognizable symbol.

Best of luck to you in however you decide to handle these issues! Don't know how helpful my two cents worth is to you, but I hope you find a resolution you are satisfied with.

Wishing you laughter

I don't actually have a problem with a uniform, per see, but then I went through 8th grade in a catholic 4-8th grade school with exactly one skirt.  The other three (teeney weeney school that the store didn't carry much of, in an absolutely horrid christmas tree plaid.) that my mom ordered in July came in in May. . . . .

I guess, while he says he would ban a plain old christian cross if a gang started using it, my interior comment to that is: I'd like to see that happen.  You'd have half the parents up in arms, not to mention all the churches getting involved, and you'd be out of a job in a week, even if there was a powerful gang in the area using it.  People would refuse to hand over that symbol.  What if they started using the school's symbol, would you just hand it over, no.  But minority religions, who cares. 

Like I said, we're cheating. She's going to wear them all.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 09:38:01 am by mandrina » Logged

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« Reply #18: September 05, 2008, 11:56:47 am »

I guess, while he says he would ban a plain old christian cross if a gang started using it, my interior comment to that is: I'd like to see that happen.

I've SEEN it happen. I've also seen a Catholic school ban all clothing and jewelry with the word "Jesus."

Frankly I'm impressed your principal is allowing not just parental justification ("My child is actually religious, we go to X temple") but the KID to make that justification to him. I've seen FAR more comprehensive bans, with no exceptions, hold up.

Reclaiming symbols from gangs is a great idea in theory, and I completely sympathize with the impulse, but the fact is that my mother teaches in a JUNIOR HIGH where she's lost students to gang violence (20 years olds shooting 12 year olds at recess!), and religious symbols are frequently used as gang symbols precisely BECAUSE they can be slipped past the radar. It's the rare parent, in her experience and in mine, who wants to put their child in harm's way while a gang is using crosses or WWJD bracelets or the word "Jesus" as a gang identifier.

The gangs move on to new symbols, typically in less than a semester, and the dress code shifts back.
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mandrina
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« Reply #19: September 05, 2008, 05:00:11 pm »

I've SEEN it happen. I've also seen a Catholic school ban all clothing and jewelry with the word "Jesus."

Frankly I'm impressed your principal is allowing not just parental justification ("My child is actually religious, we go to X temple") but the KID to make that justification to him. I've seen FAR more comprehensive bans, with no exceptions, hold up.

Reclaiming symbols from gangs is a great idea in theory, and I completely sympathize with the impulse, but the fact is that my mother teaches in a JUNIOR HIGH where she's lost students to gang violence (20 years olds shooting 12 year olds at recess!), and religious symbols are frequently used as gang symbols precisely BECAUSE they can be slipped past the radar. It's the rare parent, in her experience and in mine, who wants to put their child in harm's way while a gang is using crosses or WWJD bracelets or the word "Jesus" as a gang identifier.

The gangs move on to new symbols, typically in less than a semester, and the dress code shifts back.

I haven't found the comphrehensive bans that have held up once sued.  The absolutely no exception bans. I'm obviously looking in the wrong place.
  I know the one I posted earlier, the board discussed banning certain types of crosses but declines to because they were in the bible belt.

I think I would rather see a complete jewelry ban outside of wedding rings and studs for piercings, rather than this, as well as a uniform.  If gangs are really being this much trouble, then let's go the whole way.  Cause sooner or later it's going to come down to the turn of a sock, or the way one's hair is parted.  Might as well make it as hard as we can for the gangs and at the same time remove any possible distraction in the classroom.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 05:29:30 pm by mandrina, Reason: edited so I could finish the thought. » Logged

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« Reply #20: September 05, 2008, 05:18:23 pm »

I don't actually have a problem with a uniform, per see, but then I went through 8th grade in a catholic 4-8th grade school with exactly one skirt.  The other three (teeney weeney school that the store didn't carry much of, in an absolutely horrid christmas tree plaid.) that my mom ordered in July came in in May. . . . .

I guess, while he says he would ban a plain old christian cross if a gang started using it, my interior comment to that is: I'd like to see that happen.  You'd have half the parents up in arms, not to mention all the churches getting involved, and you'd be out of a job in a week, even if there was a powerful gang in the area using it.  People would refuse to hand over that symbol.  What if they started using the school's symbol, would you just hand it over, no.  But minority religions, who cares. 

Like I said, we're cheating. She's going to wear them all.

Actually, I don't have a problem with uniforms or dress codes either... it is how it is done; how and why it is being enforced that can become an issue for me. We left that school district for so many more reasons than that stupid dress code though lol... the list would probably be longer than I am tall! I'm glad you've found a solution that satisfies you both, and you've chosen a way that can be a wonderful learning experience for you both it seems. Again, best of luck to you both.
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« Reply #21: September 05, 2008, 07:05:32 pm »

The absolutely no exception bans.

Typically they hold up while there's an immediate threat. But most schools aren't all that interested in banning religious jewelry when there's NOT an actual threat.

Quote
Cause sooner or later it's going to come down to the turn of a sock, or the way one's hair is parted.  Might as well make it as hard as we can for the gangs and at the same time remove any possible distraction in the classroom.

Never seen the hair, but seen various kinds of sock-wearing banned. Then again, there are Supreme Court cases, mostly from the hot-pink mohawk hey-day in the 80s, that say public high school students have a right to crazy hair as long as it's not actively dangerous (like in shop class). I don't know of any about socks.

Did see a student get expelled for not-very-crazy hair a few months ago, but that's not going to hold up, and it's going to get expensive for the district.
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« Reply #22: September 06, 2008, 01:06:58 am »

I know Fresno State University is having a devil of a time reclaiming their Bulldog from a gang.

My comment on the distraction thing, is by that logic, one person's wierdness damns an entire religion.  Truthfully, by that logic, one could ban black males.  And as for true distractions, they should ban girls. . . .

Hehe, I like that one, ban girls.  Then again, they could ban boys.  Boys are an earlier distraction for girls than vice versa, IME.   Tongue

In my case the biggest distraction would have been books... try banning all reading material from a school...  Wink
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« Reply #23: September 08, 2008, 12:15:46 am »


Reclaiming symbols from gangs is a great idea in theory, and I completely sympathize with the impulse, but the fact is that my mother teaches in a JUNIOR HIGH where she's lost students to gang violence (20 years olds shooting 12 year olds at recess!), and religious symbols are frequently used as gang symbols precisely BECAUSE they can be slipped past the radar.

Dude, where does your mom teach?!

And how do gangs tell who's a member and who's just Catholic/Jewish/Rastafarian?  Wouldn't it get confusing?
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« Reply #24: September 08, 2008, 07:31:26 am »

I've SEEN it happen. I've also seen a Catholic school ban all clothing and jewelry with the word "Jesus."
Frankly I'm impressed your principal is allowing not just parental justification ("My child is actually religious, we go to X temple") but the KID to make that justification to him. I've seen FAR more comprehensive bans, with no exceptions, hold up.
Reclaiming symbols from gangs is a great idea in theory, and I completely sympathize with the impulse, but the fact is that my mother teaches in a JUNIOR HIGH where she's lost students to gang violence (20 years olds shooting 12 year olds at recess!), and religious symbols are frequently used as gang symbols precisely BECAUSE they can be slipped past the radar. It's the rare parent, in her experience and in mine, who wants to put their child in harm's way while a gang is using crosses or WWJD bracelets or the word "Jesus" as a gang identifier.
The gangs move on to new symbols, typically in less than a semester, and the dress code shifts back.

I pretty much agree with Koi. This is tough question and I think it really does come down to the safety of the children. I went to a Middle School with lots of gang wannabes, they weren't gang members yet, but it was what they wanted to be when they grew up, and did become. (This is not the same as white kids dressing in gangsta clothing) I remember one time a girl wore some shoes to school that she didn't know were gang attire, she got jumped, beaten and the shoes were stolen from her. 

If schools have a problem with gangs I would rather kids give up wearing something and be safe than make a big stink about freedom. You can't blame the schools for trying to protect the kids.

However, on the other hand, I have seen schools with no gang problem at all adopt uniforms and dress codes banning gang symbols and attire. That does not make sense, and IS a freedom issue.

So, I guess what I am saying is it would be a case by case issue depending on the school.
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« Reply #25: September 08, 2008, 09:57:57 am »

Dude, where does your mom teach?!

And how do gangs tell who's a member and who's just Catholic/Jewish/Rastafarian?  Wouldn't it get confusing?

An inner-ring suburb outside a major city.

The problem is that junior high and high school kids may be trying on personas, and may wear gang symbols as a sort of tentative reaching in that direction. Or because they have an older sibling in the gang. Or because they simply have no idea it's a gang symbol, and then get jumped and beaten, as Nile Lily points out. My mom has seen many times the situation where an older brother is in a gang, in a position of some authority, and the younger brother, who's 11 or 12, wears the gang colors the way other kids wear their brother's favorite football team's logo. Which gives a clear sign to the opposing gang that here is a target, who by dressing in colors has made himself fair game, and while he's not important, attacking him will be a way to get at his older brother.
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