I understand the desire to express oneself. I understand the frustration behind the suppression of free speech, but I'm finding the reactions to the newly imposed dress code a bit depressing. The way students dress in the high school may be a minor problem within the current state of education, but it is nonetheless a problem and one that is easily addressed.
The school administration and board should have consulted the student body, parental advisory board, Rotary, etc., with the understanding that they make the final decision. Maybe they did gather feedback. Gauging from the response letters, we learn that the contact, dissemination and gathering of input should have been a bit more comprehensive, which most likely would have generated a few more positive responses.
Just as at the dinner table or work place, environment is important. For six months this year, I was a substitute teacher at the high school. For some students and perhaps many, the emphasis on fashion and socializing interfered with the true purpose of school.
The bottom line is that the current way of dressing in the high school is a distracter to the school's ultimate educational goals. Putting some restriction on what is worn to school may be a minor step, but it's something. While the schools are working on the larger and more important problems, shouldn't we address the smaller but correctable issues that may play a role in the total educational process and environment?
The school administration is trying to do the right thing. Perhaps the process was not as comprehensive as it could or should have been? A dress code is not the solution to higher academic performance; however, it is a step in the right direction.
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