Our county is on the verge of making a decision as to what your children can wear to school. This decision lied in the hands of nine school board members: Dixie Parker, Ron Adcock, Amy Martin, Diane Neeley, Barry Cooper, Mary Jo Johnson, Jerry Naron, Leonard Singleton and Glen Forsee.
In August, five of these members are up for re-election: Parker (District 1), Cooper (District 5), Johnson (District 6), Singleton (District 8) and Forsee (District 9). If anyone is interested in running for one of these positions, the paperwork must be completed by noon April 3.
Our county has now held three public forums to see what the people of Bedford County want. The Liberty School forum was split, and Cascade and Community were all against. School Board members, are you listening?
Our board members keep saying that this dress code is going to make us all equal, reduce distractions, and provide a safer learning environment. Ask one of your board members to show you any written evidence of this. I've asked, and none of them have. There is plenty of evidence that it does not work. I can show you written evidence from all over the United States.
The school board has now come up with another dress code. This dress code, to some degrees, is not as strict, but it's still not right.
Why is it so important that our children wear collared shirts and specific colors? I have been told it is to help prevent gangs. There is no written evidence to support this. In some cases, wearing the same colors may be supportive to gang members because they would blend in with the rest of the children.
If the children are all wearing the same clothes and someone does something wrong, how do you describe the child in trouble? Do you say, "Oh, it's the child in the blue collared shirt?" Wait a minute, there's only 50 of them going down the hall right now.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with our children wearing jeans with no holes, T-shirts without a collared shirt under them, and shirts that are striped or polka-dotted.
Another thing that really bothers me is that our children cannot wear a Christian T-shirt, but Somalians can wear their head wrap because of their religion. Board members, you might want to step back and look at what you are doing. You're letting a Muslim nation have priority over a Christian nation.
I know the school board will say the Somalians are covered under federal and state guidelines. What is my child covered under? They were born U.S. citizens in a Christian nation, and yet our local school board is going to tell them they can't wear a Christian shirt to school. There is something very wrong with this!
Our daughters were sitting in Sunday School class the other Sunday and brought out a very interesting fact. Eveyone there was dressed well enough to go to church, but there was no one dressed well enough to go to school. That, board members, is a very sad fact.
We do not live in a metro environment. We are rural, and I believe the majority of us are proud of this fact.
The majority of these children are not concerned with what someone else is wearing. They are their own persons. Give them credit for that, and let them be individuals.
Correct the problem where there is a problem, and leave the good children alone who are already following the rules.