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Dress code issue

Posted Thursday, August 27, 2009, at 8:17 AM

As anyone who visits this site is no doubt aware, the issue of school dress codes really sparks a debate.

So, when I saw this story from ABC News this morning, I knew I had to share it with you.

The new rules are so draconian, some say, that more than 150 high school students -- about 10 percent of the student body -- were suspended the second day of class alone. Dozens more were suspended in the following days, some more than once.

Bell said she was shocked that her children were sent to school in what she considered respectable clothes only to find out that most everything in their wardrobe was now forbidden.

Discuss .... and please, let's keep it civil.


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You go Double Exposure !!

The teaching of responsibility, morals, character,

etc... and yes, proper and appropiate dress for any given time or place starts at home with the parents. Parents, you buy the clothes that your children wear. If you don't buy them "Skin tight,low riding, clevage showing, or butt floss" Then they won't get into trouble for wearing them.

We don't live in a dictatorship, our school board and other governmental bodies should not be able to tell us what to wear, however, parents ----

if you are doing your job and taking your responsibilities as a parent seriously, pay a little more attention to the way your children walk out the door.

When did school boards become fashion police??

Parents, thats your hat !

Lest anyone think that I am talking about something I know nothing about, let me assure you that I've had two children in this school system and now have two grandchildren there.

-- Posted by Buggs007 on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 8:42 AM

The parents should be... and had they been doing their job as parents we would not even be having this discussion at all.

-- Posted by Double Exposure on Tue, Sep 1, 2009, at 10:16 PM

I only wish that there were as many people willing to be this angry at the fact that there is no "CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO FACILITATE OR FUND A GOVERNMENT EDUCATION"

Or that "TEACHERS UNIONS ARE NOT LEGAL ENTITIES BY DEFINITION"

How I long for the old days.....thin the herd Josey!

-- Posted by big daddy rabbit on Tue, Sep 1, 2009, at 9:12 PM

Double Exposure

who do you think is enforcing this dress code?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Aug 31, 2009, at 11:36 PM

Its not the teachers job to enforce any type of dress code. Their job is to teach.

We can ALL thank the parents who allow their kids to wear inappropriate clothes to school for this.

THANKS LOW CLASS PARENTS!

-- Posted by Double Exposure on Mon, Aug 31, 2009, at 10:13 PM

A bit off subject but speaking on education and testing, someone or some company is getting information on childrens names and phone numbers and calling their homes saying: May I speak to the parents of (--your childs name--), sometimes they hang up when you answer, or they will say your child has filled out a application for educational supplies to pass the ACT/SAT tests. They then ask for your credit card number to pay for it. The call comes from 1-888-260-2222. Here are some of the complaints, BEWARE:

http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-888-260...

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Mon, Aug 31, 2009, at 4:33 PM

In the business world, in management classes, "group punishment" is often referred to as the "shotgun approach" for solving personnel issues. It is used by managers who don't like to address personnel issues with individuals who work for them. If something bothers the manager, rather than talking to the "offender" one-on-one, they call group meetings and come up with a rule or requirement that impacts all workers. The workers who want to do a good job take the rule to heart or develop the attitude of "why try to do well, it doesn't matter." The offenders will continue to ignore the issue, either because they don't care or they feel rules shouldn't apply to them. "Shotgun" solutions create a downward spiral of negative attitudes.

People are willing to confront when they can remain distanced from the issue/or perceived offender (i.e. the internet), but are afraid to deal with the same issue one-on-one. If one can not handle addressing issues one-on-one, then maybe they shouldn't be in positions where solutions should be addressed in that manner.

A recent study issued by SCORE (can't remember what the acronym stands for), a bi-partisan group, that studies education recently reported that School Boards are not focused on the real issues impacting education. They stated in their study the focus should be on the following:

- A better curriculum (student potential rather than just proficiency)

- Better and more intelligent use of student data, based on testing (where are the shortfall testing scores compared to the standards) and finding solutions to better those scores.)

There were several other identified areas with recommended solutions.

Maybe our School Board should avail themselves of that study and look at our schools and their "rules" to see how to improve our children's education. If we educate, then our children will be prepared for the "real world" no matter what it has in store for them. I'd like to think that our future is based people functioning at their individual potential rather that just being proficient. Other studies have shown that "tucked in" or "collared versus no collar" has not changed the students test scores. A good curriculum and consistent (even-handed) enforcement of the code of conduct has.

By the way, overall scores on SATs in 2009 dropped as compared to 2008 scores. We are trending in the wrong direction.

-- Posted by amalphia on Mon, Aug 31, 2009, at 10:28 AM

As the last few posters have pointed out, the SOLUTION here is SUPER-simple---just go back to the old REASONABLE code---aND ENFORCE IT. I HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE LOGIC OF PEOPLE WHO SAY WE NEED A NEW CODE "BECAUSE THE OLD ONE WAS UNENFORCEABLE." If true (which it isn't) HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO ENFORCE A NEW STRICTER CODE???????????

In this country, we do NOT do GROUP-punishment; and it is NOT NECESSARY as SOME poster here seem to think. As a natl "expert" on thids subject, I can tell you-all that 90 pct of U.S. schools manage to enforce a regular dress code. Why can't THIS school????

-- Posted by klahr123 on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 2:11 PM

The old dress code failed because it wasn't enforced just like the speed limit would fail if the police didn't enforce it. "Most" of us drive the speed limit for fear of being caught and getting a ticket. "Most" kids followed the old code for fear of getting into trouble.

Should everyone receive a speeding ticket because of the few who drive over the limit? NO and neither should the children be punished for what some few do.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 11:30 AM

One would think that would have been sufficient to defeat such a measure.

Where does the driving force to make decisions clearly against the parents wishes come from?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 10:26 AM

As far as I know there was never a vote by parents on the dress code only meetings where 90% of the parents opposed the new code.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 10:19 AM

Someone told me that the dress code was voted on by the parents/citizens and defeated prior to being passed by the board. Is this true?

I do think that what is in the best interest of the child is what is important. What is really at stake here is WHO GETS TO DECIDE what is in the childs best interest.

Socialist will say the state. Common sense,religion, morality, individuality, etc. are thrown out the window in favor of costs, convenience, ease, etc. and I'm sure the emotional high of one of the board members seeing their decision come to pass also plays a part.

My point is I think it is better for the child and the country to retain their right to dress themselves and the freedom to do so. What they need is the training and discipline to learn how to handle their freedoms responsibly.

Speed limits and other laws that have been passed as a society have there place. Although I am not so sure the sign on the side of the road really has that much effect. People routinely drive 40-45 anyway. It is the fear of being pulled over that has an effect.

It should be just as easy for the citizens to report a person driving dangerously to police, whether he is driving 10, 30, or 50.

Then deal with that person while responsible people drive on un-impeded.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 8:29 AM

The code may be CLEARLY stated(if you can decipher it), but the enforcement is not equal---and actually the speed limit laws are not enforced equally either. I can be going 30 on my way out of town to Mboro and am passed continuously by speeders and when I get to the 55 zone the same people are going 65-70.

The dress code should not be so strict. What difference does it make how long your pants legs are? And how many get sent home for being too short?

-- Posted by Tinarb on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 7:51 AM

i do believe that what every person has stated is very right in one way or another. I think the thing all of you are not looking at is the kids. Have the grades really changed any at all like the board try to say they would? have the disractions really been lowered? its not like they cant find a way to stand out.

my daughter is a junior this year she has always been fine staying out of the office and she keeps her grades up until last year. her pant leg went under her shoe so she was givin 1 hour to drive home, change pants, and then come back to school. i live almost twenty minutes from the school and im the one paying for the gas! its little things like this that are completely ridiculus. She never wore clothes that showed anything or had anything inapropriate on it.

Im not sayin this dress code is stupid. I am sayin its unnessasary. the board talks aout how we need to be united, it needs to get fixed. All i have to say is if they really wanted this fixed they would have done it along time ago and hired some people who would actually enforce the dress code, and not wait this long to enforce it on alot of students who followed the old one.

Alot of kids already dont come to school half the time and more than half of those students will or are about to drop out! But to top it all off the board, whose job is to educate and help students, are actually pushing the students out themselves. Why should we do anything to help and try to make their jobs easier when they dont even care what happens to your son or daughter. I really wonder if anyone on the board had a kid that goes to a bedford co. school if they would still be enforcing it then?

-- Posted by 1 in the same on Sun, Aug 30, 2009, at 2:41 AM

Yea doubleexposure I understand I hate doing 30 on North Main Street also but let's "what if" for a minute.

What if the police did not enforce these speed limits? What if no one was ever stopped for doing say 55 or 65 down North Main Street? How long would it be before everyone was driving as fast as they wished down North Main Street? But you being a law abiding citizen had always played by the law and went the speed limit of 30mph.

Then one day you were going out North Main and the speed limit had changed to 15 mph and policemen were everywhere writing tickets. Would you feel that this action was unfair to those who had drove the speed limit? Wouldn't you feel like you were being punished because of those who refused to play by the rules? Wouldn't you think that if the police had done their job of enforcing the rules in the first place this wouldn't have happened?

Sure ya would!

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 10:13 PM

I hate that I get a speeding ticket for driving 40mph on North Main Street, but the law clearly says 30mph.

We are not asked to like the dress code rules either... just follow them.

The code has been CLEARLY stated so dont complain if your child gets their butt in trouble for not following them.

By the way I was doing 45mph an North Main.

-- Posted by Double Exposure on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 9:54 PM

oops, typo. Should actually read "...and so the trend will continue..." My laptop seems to have a few "sticky keys" thanks to my three year old.

-- Posted by So_Sue_Me on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 5:45 PM

Liveforlight

The more I read your post the more I like you :>)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 7:53 PM

I have to agree with Dianatn. Your way of thinking seems much in line with my own, especially with regard to loss of freedoms (as you can see from reading my blogs).

If we give up a small freedom today, we will be asked to give up a slighter larger freedom tomorrow, and so the tend will continue until one day we find we are all sporting knee high socks and saluting.

-- Posted by So_Sue_Me on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 5:41 PM

Liveforlight

The more I read your post the more I like you :>)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 7:53 PM

Thank you Dianatn. It is good to know that there are those who can appreciate plain common sense.

Our government doesn't seem to use common sense any more.

Those who appreciate the dress code don't seem to realize that a small freedom taken away (for temporary ease) loose much more than they gain.

One post said this helped make their mornings more predictable. To me this is indicative of the effects of the loss of freedom. We become more predictable as we are less and less individual and more and more mindless robots trained and molded to follow government rules. Personal freedom and responsiblity is shifted to the government.

These are the things that have made America great, and without them, we will become the subjects of just one more socialist, state run, society with no more unpredictably wonderful aspirations for greatness.Just a predictable (and controllable) tendency to medocrity, apathy, and complacency.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 2:42 PM

What is so unfortunate is that these heavy handed rules come as a result of the "few" who do not understand what it means to take personal responsibility for a simple code. It would be great to have a simple code of "appropriate" attire, but it is the consistent irresponsibility of the "few" that ruin it for the rest. That same concept transfers over to why we pay more for things like health insurance, car insurance...you name it. Abusing any system for those things that really are not "rights" but "responsibilities" ruins it for those who understand that concept. It would be great if parents would insist their children wear pants that fit well and girls respect themselves enough to not be a billboard in school by wearing low cut shirts and low rise jeans, but because of these few (and it is really is a few) the rest of us pay. You can see this in so many other facets of our society and that alone confirms why the government feels the need to force us all to conform. It's a shame. Surely schools can have simple code and send these kids home when they are inappropriately dressed (which is a distraction). If parents would support those things we wouldn't have to worry about idiot groups like the ACLU. However, as long as we keep demanding these "rights" and not assume responsibility this will just get worse for everyone. And, many work places do have dress codes, even in manufacturing. When my husband was in management at a manufacturing plant, he sent home more than one person for offensive attire. These folks had an employee handbook with clearly stated guidelines that they agreed to. Continued offenses caused them to lose their jobs. It wasn't strict, just basic common sense.

BTW, I have a boy in middle school and I am actually grateful for the code. While shopping was a nightmare (especially since our own Walmart carried NOTHING), getting dressed in the morning has never been more peaceful and without question, more predictable. Five shirts and 3 pair of jeans and we were done! I'll ride the wave, but if it goes back that will be okay too because I buy the clothes. My child will wear what I am willing to pay for - and that I will control!

-- Posted by lordluvslu on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 8:20 AM

Most posters miss the point of the problem in Richmond---as in Nashville 2 years ago and Indianapolis & many other cities. Clothes need NOT be uniform; but thery all must be APPROPRIATE. Neckbanded t-shirts w/o collars and PROPERLY-fitted jeans are PERFECTLY appropriate for public schools--as are non-vulgar logos & messages on the tops. The parents I work with in 30 states do NOT want to send their kids in fancy or gangy clothes;---they just object---PROPERLLY SO---to the GOVERNMENT (school) telling them they can't send their kids in colored and striped tees and jeans as school kids have worn for 50+ years in this country. NO dress code allows showing excess skin or underwear; NO one favors that; those issues are STRAW MEN put up by the "control freaks" in the schools and on this blog that want schools to be run in a Socialist or Fascist manneer. As a former lawyer & school bd member, I say---NO THANKS!!

-- Posted by klahr123 on Sat, Aug 29, 2009, at 1:46 AM

I just think it's funny how pro dress code commenters keep referring to kids needing to learn how to dress for the 'real world' and in the 'real world', one does routinely see boxers hanging out, thongs, tight spaghetti straps, midriffs, cleavage, piercings, tattoos.....

-- Posted by stardust on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 7:53 PM

Liveforlight

The more I read your post the more I like you :>)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 7:53 PM

I don't like seeing kids half dressed or with underwear exposed either. Those are the exceptions though not the RULE. Those children and there parents both need to be taught.

The dress code could be more specific to the amount of exposed skin or amount of disruption that is caused.

The teacher should have the authority in their own class room to discipline a child, or if parents object, to call the parent for ANY disruptive behavior.

I don't believe dictating to all for the sake of a few is the right answer.

Once rules like these are in place they tend to be tightened over time. The children may end up in some type of uniform scenario with taxpayers footing the bill for rules passed that some parents can't afford.

I am sure that somewhere, sometime, someone, read a statistic or was impressed by seeing a uniformly dressed school,(likely in a foreign country) and decided that was the best thing for the U.S.

In my opinion, these seemingly small surrenders of freedom, the lack of discipline, and personal accountibility are much more of a threat to a childs character than seeing an occasional pair of boxers.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 7:27 PM

I am honestly appreciative of the dress code so that my daughter does not have to deal with seeing a boys boxers or a girls thong hanging out of her jeans or too much cleavage showing on another person as they pass in the hallway. I was very worried before school started that we would not be able to find the right kind of clothes that are approved, but it has not been nearly as hard as I thought it might be.

-- Posted by busymomof2 on Fri, Aug 28, 2009, at 3:48 PM

This takes me back to when the school board faced the big issue of "should female teachers be allowed to wear pants suits?" I thought it was rediculous back then and I think our school board has become even more intoxicated with power now. While I pay taxes that support this type of nonsense, I thank God every day that I don't have children that attend public schools.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 9:33 PM

my son wore a nice shirt to school the other day. He was pulled in the principals office becasue it did not have a collar.

Give me a break... I told the principal that i thought that was the most assinine thing they could have thought of. He had to wear a dorky blue collared shirt that day they provided.

I burnt the other so we would not have THAT mix up again.

Please give me a break. This has really gone too far.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 8:31 PM

I dare say that the dress code in the 50's and 60's was that if the principal or a teacher deemed your attire inappropriate that they would send you home to change into something a bit more presentable. They did this without fear of reprisal or a law suit from the ACLU. There were no set standards unless you went to a private school. The style was more liken to an informal office rather than a school, by today's standards.

-- Posted by docudrama on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 8:30 PM

What kind of dress code was there in the 50's or 60's? I did not go to high school in the 50's or 60's but I have an older brother that did and remembering back to his yearbook I do not recall the students being dressed the same way.

And there is a vast difference in a dress code and being told exactly how to dress.

We have always had a dress code the schools just did not enforce it..

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 3:09 PM

When I was going to public elementary and high school (50's & 60's) we had dress codes that would shock our young people today. I am not sure we are losing any rights by trying to get back to a reasonable "standard". Instead, we let it get too far out of control in the first place.

My fellow classmates got to express their individuality, and we did not wear uniforms, but if we tried to get out the door dressed as some do today, we would have been dealt with strongly. If we had made it to school, we would have spent time in the principal's office and sent home and THEN dealt with strongly.

Somehow, I do not feel mentally or socially scarred from being asked (no, demanded) to take pride in the way I looked. I still feel like and individual and speak my mind.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 2:07 PM

Once again we have conceded another one of our "Rights." In this case, freedom of expression and individuality. I agree that some students, if left "un-checked," might get a little too creative and/or expressive in their wardrobe, but isn't that what parents are there for...to keep our kids in-check?

Three years ago my husband and I made the "radical" decision to homeschool our three [remaining at home] children. And before you go there, we did not do it for "religious" puposes...I registered as an Independant, not affiliated with any homebased church group.

We made the decision to homeschool our children because we felt that we, more than anyone, had our children's best interests. I am not disparaging the school system or its teachers, I am simply stating that as parents we are compelled to work harder for our child's success than a stranger might.

With that said, circumstances "forced" us (for lack of a better word at the moment) to return our daughter Lillie to the public school system so that she could participate in school sports (I will save the details for my next blog).

After being out of the public school system for two years we found there had been a lot of changes. One of course being the implemented dress code. And after looking through our daughter's closet, we realized we had a lot of shopping to do.

Shopping for "school approved" attire was an experience I would soon prefer to forget. We had been told so many conflicting things about what was acceptable and not acceptable by our friends, that we spent two days in five different stores in two different towns trying to find clothes that wouldn't get our daughter sent home from school, not to mention the cost of this ordeal.

As it turns out the dress code requirements weren't quite as "military" as we were led to believe, but I still have to wonder what we will be asked to conform to next...

-- Posted by So_Sue_Me on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 12:58 PM

Not trying to derail this blog, but how many people who are unhappy with the handling of the dress code are ready for the government to run their health care?

Read the comments again, but imagine instead of clothing we are talking about medicine.

Think about it.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 12:43 PM

I would add to this the strict zoning passed this year.

I have been looking for a new home just so my child can go to a preferred school.

I would be willing to pay for that opportunity to choose the school. But instead, we have been dictated to by our public servants what to wear and how, and where you must go to school and where you can't.

Who is in charge here the taxpayers or the public servants?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 12:09 PM

Absolutely. Enough is enough. It seems the school board has some control issues wanting things run their way instead of the peoples way.

What's next? Raising tax money to dress kids who do not meet THEIR standards?

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 11:28 AM

i am right here with you on this doe-c-doe

-- Posted by brown04 on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 10:51 AM

I think We, as parents should take a stand on the dress code issue. I agree that our children should be dressed nicely, but the school board has taken the issue too far. I have always taught my children to stand up for themselves. I feel that I should do the same for them. Any one who wants to join me in doing something please let me know.

-- Posted by doe-c-doe on Thu, Aug 27, 2009, at 10:03 AM


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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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