Dress code confuses priorities of education

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2004

There is an old lie that says control and education need one another to exist. "Let the kids run wild?" asks the lie. "Why, without rules and restrictions, no one would learn anything," it laughs.

And the parents listen, because they feel their own control slipping away. They want someone, anyone, to have some power over these children that they know in their hearts are no longer really "their" kids anymore.

This lie has reared its ugly head in Juneau-Douglas High School. It has whispered, the school board has listened and now the children must realize that their bodies are somehow shameful, that their sex is something that must be controlled.

That is the immediate lesson. The long-term lesson is that their high school is imposed on them, that following made-up rules is more important than learning and learning in general is something you are required to do, not something you should want to do.

Meanwhile, 35 percent of incoming freshmen do not graduate. Meanwhile, class sizes are soaring.

Meanwhile, though you will not find a child that does not want to learn, you will find many who do not want to go to the high school. They are not holding back for fear of midriffs.

Alex Gagne-Hawes

Juneau



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