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Author Topic: Dress code policies? Free speech issues?  (Read 12729 times)
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« Reply #5: October 18, 2008, 08:20:31 pm »

So what do you think? The dress code bit goes too far? Not far enough?

In the matter of the "Julius RIP" shirts, I think I don't have enough information.  It looks fairly ridiculous on the surface (how are memorial shirts possibly gang-related again?), but I don't know anything about the situation or the school's dress code.  For all I know they have some rule against shirts with any kind of text, and the students should have known that they were breaking that rule, or something.

In the case of the girl with the jacket, I'm a little unclear on why she was being arrested for breaking the school dress code.  Huh  Is this my small-town background showing again?  When did school dress codes become an issue for the police?  That seems really weird to me--although, again, not much information is given.

As for this:
Quote
And in Gonzales, Texas, near San Antonio, parents are considering legal action over a new policy that requires students who come to school dressed inappropriately to either go home or put on a school-provided prison-style jumpsuit one actually made by Texas inmates.

It seems to me that the prison jumpsuit would be at least as disruptive as most inappropriate clothing, and I'm not sure that humiliating students is really the best way to go about getting them to comply with the rules.  I guess it might be effective, but I don't think it's a good idea for the school administration to start bullying students even if they are misbehaving.

(The "Dress Code Violater" shirt mentioned at another school, now--I knew people in high school who would have violated the dress code on purpose just to wear it.  Or even made their own.)

I have little comment on the issue of uniforms in general.  I can see points on both sides.  I'm not up on the research that's been done about their effectiveness, though, and I have never been in a school where they were required.  I have neither theoretical nor practical experience with them.  They're largely an abstract concept for me.  I similarly have little opinion on most school dress codes.  I think most of the time they're probably fairly sensible--you know, basically keep your private parts private and that kind of thing.  Sometimes they do get a little out of hand, which of course is when we start hearing about them on the news...

Reasonable or not, though, I think that students who violate them shouldn't be surprised when they reap the consequences.  See the hoodie protest mentioned in the article--yes, they can and will suspend all 100 of you.  I don't think that's an effective way to go about trying to change the rule; I don't think it's going to do anything.  I also don't think that getting into disputes with the administration so heated that the police have to be called in is going to be effective.  If anything, that only makes the people doing the protesting look worse, and I suspect it will only make the administration dig their heels in harder.  People tend to do that when you scream at them.
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