Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dress Codes in School

This photo made the Union Leader today. Over 50 students have been sent home from Pembroke Academy due to inappropriate clothing in the last 2 days. It seems that the headmaster instituted a "new" dress code late in the year - banning skirts above mid thigh and spaghetti strap camisole tops. After announcing the changes, the students still arrived in school dressed for bed and the headmaster sent them home.
Some parents were outraged (they were called from work to tend to their inappropriate dressed children and were inconvenienced) and thought that the rule was changed "too late in the year."

Now, we have all seen young children dressed inappropriately or just plain WRONG! Does a 10 year old need to have on clothing that has words on the butt? Who would allow this? Who would purchase this for their child?

Two months ago, the Kearsarge administrators sent home their own notice of a dress code, stating that 'minimal cleavage is allowed". Minimal cleavage for teenagers? Who determines what qualifies as minimal and IS THIS APPROPRIATE?
Let me just state that NO CLEAVAGE should be allowed. But, aside from this fact, I am disappointed in parents.
So, clearly the dress code is geared towards teenage girls - and understandably so. If a boy wears a cut off shirt or a shirt with bad language - there is no taboo in asking him to change. If a girl wears something that is suggestive, then the person asking her to change becomes the pervert....

There is an argument that the inappropriate clothing is "distracting' for other students. I think realistically, boys and perverted teachers do not need an excuse to be distracted by young beautiful teenage girls. Nor, do I think that the way one dresses should be determined by the "distraction factor."

For the simple reason that girls should dress respectfully for themselves, there should be a dress code.
Cleavage baring shirts, belly baring shirts, skirts and shorts that reveal upper thighs are not a sign of self respect in a school setting. This attire is appropriate for going to the beach, perhaps some parties but NOT school. Not a learning environment.

By allowing this type of attire in school, we are reenforcing the idea that sexuality should be their priority, their goal. Absolutely not acceptable. We want our young women to take pride in their appearance and be proud of their achievements and prioritize their intelligence.
When we allow sexualized dress to enter into schooling or the workplace, we are sending the wrong message to our girls. And to the boys. And to everyone else.

Dressing in the manner as shown in the above picture is neither practical, nor smart. It is an attention grabber.
Teenagers want to be noticed, they want attention and dressing in such a manner is a quick attention getter.
We need to stress that the teenagers need to look within themselves for pride and accomplishment and NOT from others. The way they dress sends a message that goes beyond the quick looks, the glances and the attention. Inappropriate dress is indicative of a mind NOT valuing hard work, determination and intelligence, but rather shock value.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I would love to teach my children modesty! I hope the first way they learn is through example. :)