Lulus are no-noes at my son’s school, unless they are paired with tops of an acceptable length. There has been a ruckus about this rule in recent days, but I do think school dress codes are important. Ideally, they reinforce expectations set at home.
“No. You can’t wear a tube top to school. Back to your room and come out wearing something legal.”
“No. You can’t buy a T-shirt with a gun on the front or wear your pants sliding off your butt. That’s not acceptable.”
As veterans know, raising teenagers is a trip to a different parenthood entirely.
This is the ‘hood. Volatile territory. Battles happen. There are good guys and bad guys. As a parent, you have to be both.
So it’s okay by me for the board of education to take the bad-guy rap for putting a kibosh on skin-tight apparel.
Here’s St. Joe’s dress code:
All students are asked to wear clothes that are clean and in good taste. Low cut tops, tops with bikini straps, spaghetti straps, crop tops, tube tops, muscle shirts, t-shirts with unacceptable language/pictures are not permitted. Sleeveless blouses/shirts are allowed provided they are not low-cut in the front, back or side. Bare shoulders are unacceptable. Clothing that permits exposure at the midriff is not acceptable. Leggings that are not covered by shorts or a skirt of acceptable length are not permitted. Shorts/skirts are allowed provided they are at least mid-thigh length. Ripped clothing is not allowed. Any clothing that reveals undergarments is not acceptable. Spiked wristbands and collars are not permitted. In addition staff, students and parents will continue to be consulted on other aspects of the code as it becomes necessary.
Personally, I have no objection. However, if you’ve seen the Paulina Gretzky pics circulating online this week and you have a daughter, you may be thinking there are far worse things than lululemon yoga pants.
Hopefully our kids’ errors in judgment won’t be posted on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
While school rules for conduct may help both parents and kids survive adolescence, more importantly they can help young people learn social skills they need for life.
That doesn’t mean kids won’t bend, stretch, break and flout those rules.
That’s nothing new. How about Adam, Eve and the apple? Odds are, their fig leaves were either high-cut, low-cut or a tad too snug.
If you’re a Darwin fan, it’s easy to imagine the cave dweller days. Wilma was probably dragging Pebbles by the hair to her room because her pelt was hiked up practically to her hips.
Remember your own high school years? There’s a chance you waited until you were on the bus or around the corner to slap on makeup or undo the top buttons of your shirt. Even back in the ancient days of the last century, it was standard for teens of both sexes to go into the school washroom and come out in more revealing attire.
It’s nature’s timeless mating call – with hair gel.
As youngsters reach towards independence, they push away from their parents, challenge authority, test limits. They also feel the pull of peer pressure. Those young things wandering school halls in sometimes questionable outfits? They’re sending out social signals:
“I am me.”
When they cross a line of decency, there should be consequences.
I wonder, though, if the rules themselves are all looks and no action.
Do kids and the adults understand what decency means?
Do they understand a code of conduct is more important than a code of dress?
At school and at home, boys have to learn and know and believe No means No – No Matter What.
Tight pants and low-cut tops do not equal “You’re asking for it.”
Females have a right to be safe, regardless of what they choose to wear or not wear. Whether they upload lingerie pics or show up in class with bare shoulders, there’s no excuse for sexual aggression.
The Ottawa Citizen reports a 17-year-old was allegedly sexually assaulted at a recent party. Hosted with the consent of parents, it was a hockey party. It was also publicized on Facebook and one player wrote there would be “free booze for ladies”.
One of those young ladies left the house crying. She went to the hospital for an examination. The host, 20, said he “believed the sex was consensual.” Since when does consensual sex result in tears and a trip to the hospital?
To me, that response indicates important life lessons are being missed. Respectful attitudes need to be modeled, discussed and reinforced both at home and at school.
Mr. and Ms. Teacher: What’s the real message behind those teen codes?
Tight pants may be in questionable taste, but it’s conduct that really matters.