School Dress CodesAug 25, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
Well itís that time of year again when are children are headed back to school. Whether your child is starting in elementary, middle school or high school this year there appears to be some changes that have taken place. Now mind you this may only be in the state of Florida, however I believe you are going to see it more and more across the country. This editorial is long so you may want to stop right here. :)
There has always been a question as to whether or not public schools should issue school uniforms. Some believe it is a great idea, that way all children are dressed alike and no one can be taunted if they canít afford the Tommy Hilfiger clothing. Some believe itís not a terrible idea; donít kids have rights to wear what they want? If you grew up in the public school system were you told to wear a uniform? I can see both sides and I think both sides have a lot of valid points to them. This review is not a debate on those points but rather an editorial of my daughters experience as a new 9th grade high school student.
School started here this past Wednesday. Prior to the first day, we received a letter from the school stating the new dress code and policies for incoming students this school year. Everything on the list appeared to be the same except for the fact that kids werenít allowed to wear tank tops or have any bra straps showing. To me this was fine. I couldnít agree more with the dress code. I know I donít think it looks nice, and itís just not something that is appropriate to wear to school.
Our local newspaper wrote several editorials explaining the new upcoming changes and those parents would be called on the first day if they came to school in what they called inappropriate attire. Parents and students had plenty of time to purchase clothing that would be appropriate for class.
Wednesday morning my daughter comes out of her room and asks, "do I look ok mom?" I say yes you look fine. She is wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. The shorts are not revealing in any way. She of course is very anxious and nervous about beginning high school, meeting new friends and being in a new fundamental program that started this year in public school.
Off to school I sent her. The official time is 7:00am. At 7:30 the phone rings. My daughter is at the other end saying that I need to bring her some pants to wear because her shorts are considered inappropriate. I say ok and off to school I go with a pair of pants. I arrive to my daughter sitting in the office with an administrator. They explain to me that several parents are located throughout the campus looking for students that are dressed inappropriately. When they locate a student they are then sent to the office. At the office they are given a X-Large t-shirt to wear spray painted with an X. if the student refuses to wear the t-shirt then the parents are called to bring a change of clothing to school. Yes, my daughter refused to wear the t-shirt, and to be honest with you I would not of worn it either. How embarrassing that would be!
So I left her with a change of clothes and back home I went. As the day progressed I thought about it more and more and anticipated when I would be going to pick her up that afternoon.
When I arrived in the parent pick-up circle (which is located next to the portables,) 2:00pm, I sat and waited for her to arrive. The bell rang and out came all these students from the portables. I noticed several that were wearing tank tops, bellyís showing, mini skirts that were too revealing, and of course several that had on shorts that were to short. Now I started to wonder if they were maybe looking at the incoming freshmenís only. This was the end of the school day and there were several students that were in inappropriate clothing.
When my daughter and friends came to the car they began to tell me the details and events of what lead up to me getting the phone call. Apparently my daughter didnít even make it to homeroom. She was pulled away from her friends when they arrived and sent to the office. After I came with the clothing, she was sent to the guidance office for her schedule since she missed homeroom. She spent 2 hours waiting on her schedule. She missed 3 classes her first day.
Now I pretty much take what the kids tell me with a grain of salt and try not to over react, however this time I was getting a little annoyed that she had missed 3 classes due to a pair of shorts that were not revealing and as far as I was concerned looked very nice. But I decided to stay quiet and just say, ďthe rules are the rules and we will abide by them, even if we donít like them.Ē As far as I was concerned this was the end of the discussion.
Around 5:40 that evening I received a phone call from the school stating that my daughter was given a pink slip today due to inappropriate attire. She explained how I needed to sign it and have her return it to school tomorrow. She then proceeded to tell me the code on proper dress attire. Now mind you she was not the one who saw what my daughter was wearing. She was not the administrator that was there when I brought the change of clothing. This is when I started to get more then a little mad.
I explained to her, that the school took a young freshman, who was scared to begin high school, dragged her away from her friends (embarrassing), told her to go to the office, was given a X-large t-shirt with a spray painted X on it (embarrassing), was then sent to the guidance office to wait 2 hours before receiving her schedule, and had her miss 3 classes because of a pair of shorts that did not reveal anything because someone felt it was inappropriate. Of course she could not help me and said I should contact the principal about my feelings and apologized for the incident.
The dress code is not the problem. I agree with the dress code completely. I donít believe kids should go to school looking like they should be on a street corner. They are there to learn not to be looking at what others are wearing. But I have a hard time when someone can dictate on the first day of school to a new student and embarrass them and have them miss several classes over a pair of shorts. What is more important here? Itís the first day. Yes she should have been warned and told that if she wears those types of shorts again, then yes I will have to be notified or she will be sent home, absolutely. But to have a new student feel so down on the first day of school, I donít think so.
I would love to hear from other parents about their students first day back. I would also like to hear comments in regards to what happened here at my daughterís school. Am I over reacting as a parent? Just as a note, our local newspaper had an editorial in it on her school the next morning about all the students that were stopped and how many werenít.
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