Saturday, October 18, 2008

Clothing Is Not Optional

Safety and discipline.  Wow!  And here all this time I thought kids went to school to learn.  When I first started high school way back when, they had a dress code for girls.  We weren't allowed to wear pants unless it was raining.  Mornings were almost always overcast in Lompoc so we would go to school in pants and say that we thought it was going to rain.  Fortunately for us they lifted the ban on pants.  As soon as it got warm we started wearing hot pants, I think the male teachers really liked those.
Dress codes are supposed to reduce violence and bullying by taking style differences out of the equation, according to the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Since the Clinton administration, the Education Department has encouraged schools to go further by adopting uniforms, saying they promote safety and discipline.
Ah yes, the schools are no longer trying to educate youth and prepare them for the real world, they are doing their best to turn out little automatons that aren't capable of independent thought and obey without question.  No wonder we keep falling behind the rest of the industrialized nations in math and science.  If you don't learn how to reason and trying to express your individuality is banned so that everyone is exactly the same,  it makes it very hard to think for yourself.  Which I guess is the point.
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. Police had to restore order at a recent school board meeting where parents heatedly complained about the new policy.

“You’re punishing the children,” Gracie Mercer, mother of a Gonzales student, told board members. “You guys aren’t concerned about their education.” 
Officials rebuffed the critics and said the policy would stay in place. 
“We’re a conservative community,” Deputy Superintendent Larry Wehde said. “We’re just trying to make our students more reflective of that.” 
But sometimes, school officials will admit they’ve gone too far. That’s what happened in Fresno, Calif., last month when administrators at Dos Palos High School apologized to Jake Shelly, a sophomore whom they forced to change into a shirt bearing the words “Dress Code Violator.” 
Jake’s proscribed apparel? A T-shirt sporting the American flag. The Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District’s dress code prohibits “shirts or blouses that promote specific races, cultures or ethnicities.” 
 Yup, that's the ticket, indoctrinate them young.


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