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Dress code thoughtsPosted Monday, February 25, 2008, at 9:28 AM
Ideally, once the Bedford County School Board realized there was a major uproar in the community about a dress code it could have put the matter up to a referendum. They'd had time to get on it on a ballot early this year in time to, if approved by voters, implement it this fall.
A dress code beyond the one already in place wasn't necessary. If there's a problem with gang wear go after the suspected gang members, not the innocent who've done nothing wrong. And I have yet to hear a logical explanation on what's wrong with striped shirts.
School years are a time of learning and developing individuality. Students will find out soon enough about inappropriate clothing, and corporate confirmity, when they apply for jobs in the real world. Some things are better learned through life's lessons and experiences -- and aging -- rather than from teachers' lectures or long lists of rules.
At the same time, I can see where some teachers would have problems with students wearing clothing that may be considered inappropriate to the majority of people.
And I'm not suggesting this at all, but...I think my facts are correct on this: If 30 percent of the total number of votes in the last election can be gathered on petitions, a recall election on school board members could be requested. Just some food for thought for those who may want to take action beyond complaining.
I suspect school board members, whom I think have generally done their jobs well, were trying to do the right thing. But there seems to be an underlying suspicion among quite a few people that social status is involved in some way.
Are too many elected officials here too upscale -- and too oriented toward an upscale lifestyle and friends who live acordingly -- to understand how many struggle financially?
There's nothing wrong with "upscale" unless it affects how the fortunate view those with less money. But those affects are clearly evident with a few people.
And the perception remains that some citizens, for whatever reasons, feel they weren't heard. I've written for years that local officials need to do something, and I'm not sure exactly what, to address what we've heard for years about most local governing bodies: Some members don't listen to those not part of certain social classes.
Key words for officials: Listen. Relate. Doing so makes a world of difference.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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