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Author Topic: Dress code policies? Free speech issues?  (Read 12837 times)
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« Reply #1: October 18, 2008, 04:07:20 pm »

I am torn, because students do have free speech rights that extend to their clothing and hairstyles.

On the other hand, uniforms do have proven educational benefits, particularly in schools with large low-income populations.

And GOOD LORD, the clothes some of these kids wear to school (!!!!). But as long as they're not actively indecent, that's a matter of poor parenting, I guess, not something so serious it should be prohibited expression.

And of course you always have issues with uniforms; my sister's junior high adopted a dress code that said that shorts had to be between knee length and 3" above the knee. Which for most 12-year-olds isn't unreasonable, but my sister was 5'8" when she was 12 and still wearing kiddie sizes since she had no hips. It was literally impossible for her to find shorts that went as low as 3" above her knee, and pretty unreasonable to demand she wear pants in the hot months when the A/C wasn't on just because she was tall. Or you get a kid with a skin condition or an illness who wants to cover something up. Or whatever.

For my part, what I find distracting while in front of my classroom is hats pulled low so I can't see eyes (I don't mind them backwards, sideways, or high on the forehead), extreme levels of cleavage, and extreme slovenliness (which is hard to quantify). Also certain piercings are extremely distracting, though crazy hair and wild makeup doesn't distract me. And I've yet to see a T-shirt I found actually distracting, though I've seen a few I found terribly tasteless.

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