Frank Friday: Too Little Too Late?
Lately, there have been crackdowns in some schools on the way the kids dress, especially girls. The latest was a Quebec teen who was suspended for wearing shorts that were not up to the school’s dress code. Here. In some schools, students are told to stand with their hands at their sides and if their shorts or skirts are higher than their fingertips then it is deemed offensive. The teen’s shorts were such. People are weighing in on this with many feeling that it is an overkill. “With a third of Quebec teenagers dropping out of high school and cyberbullying reaching epidemic proportions, wearing shorts to class seems a relatively minor affair”. Stated The National Post. But is it really?
Living close to a few high schools, I have seen the way school girls are dressing. You know it’s a problem when my 16-year-old cousin mentions it. He thinks it’s a bit much. It’s as if they are trying to out-thrash each other. Who can wear the most revealing shirt, the tiniest shorts or the tightest tank tops. Schools were once respectable institutions where students at least looked respectable, even if some weren’t. Now it’s more like a catwalk where many go to model the latest fashions. Schools are not just for learning Math and English etc. but also to learn how to respect oneself. To dress comfortably but conservatively and tastefully as well. Dressing for success starts in schools but some seem destined to make their success in other ways. Pardon my bluntness.
There was one incident where I think the school erred and that’s when they singled out a student for wearing shorts that revealed her scars. According to them, the scars were ‘inappropriate for the learning environment’. I am not sure about the specifics of that case but from just what I read, it was bad judgement on the part of that school’s administration. In another school, one teen was sent to the principal’s office because ‘she was wearing a top with “spaghetti” straps that revealed her bra straps, rather than the permissible “lasagna” straps that don’t.” I see where they are coming from. The bra is called an ‘underwear’ for a reason. You WEAR it UNDER. No need to reveal your Victoria Secrets.
From the foregoing, you could gather that I am in favor of the schools’ dress code. Of course I am! I am just afraid that the damage is already been done. I still like what the Chairman of the Lester B. Pearson School Board had to say: “It’s just imposing rules of respectable dress in that environment,” Stein Day said. “Schools are charged with teaching teenagers more than science and geography, but for the next stage of life — training them for the workforce. … You have to follow rules and just because you think a rule is wrong doesn’t make it so.” My Take, exactly!