Diary of a Mom: The Dress Code Sucks
Add another one to the list of parents who think the dress code in some schools is absolutely ridiculous. Sure I may be a toddler mom and he isn’t in school yet. This still applies to me. Before I know it my toddler will turn into a child and become subject to school dress codes.
With the beginning of a new school year, there are all sorts of complaints about dress codes being enforced. Once again people on both sides of the debate continue arguing.
Let’s think for a moment why we have dress codes and what they imply. Dress codes are put in place with the thought process that school is a place for education. Outrageous clothing, hairstyles, and makeup are considered a distraction from that education.
If a child is wearing certain clothing they could be poked fun at or become the subject of conversation among other students. The schools look at this and see all children involved as being distracted from the intended purpose of school.
Makes sense, right? Except this doesn’t solve the actual issue at hand. The root of the problem here is not the appearance of the students. The root of the problem is children aren’t being taught to respect everyone regardless of their appearance.
Dress Code: No Off the Shoulder Shirts
On August 17th 2017, Yahoo featured boys who were wearing off the shoulder shirts to school in solidarity with several girls who received dress code citations for wearing off the shoulder shirts. This same school for two years prior allowed off the shoulder shirts and they can be seen in the yearbooks.
The school explained that the rule is in place to protect the young women. They never claimed what they were protecting them from, however we can take a wild guess.
How insulting is it to our young men that the school believes they are so fragile that they would be distracted by shoulders. If that’s not the case then the school certainly believes these young men have absolutely no self control whatsoever. Plus you’ve taught every girl in the school that males should be feared and never trusted.
Regardless, it’s obvious that the young men’s “education” is far more important than the young women’s. What the school fails to realize is they are actually causing far more distraction than the shoulders of these young women ever did. Now no one is getting an education because they are all focused on making a statement. Congrats on your fine educating skills San Benito High School.
Dress Code: Your Hair Must Look Like White People Hair
Several schools located both in the US and abroad have taken it upon themselves to require that young black girls should wear their hair to match typical racist beauty standards. Let me raise a middle finger to that nonsense.
White girls highlight, dye, and do everything under the sun to their hair and no one bats an eye. However, if a black girl doesn’t have the appearance of white girl hair all hell is raised and a lame excuse is given.
By singling out hairstyles that are common for a specific race and banning them you are continuing to promote racism. This type of behavior is unacceptable and disgusting. These types of school policies need to come to an end, now.
Young black girls should not be taken out of class because of braids or natural hair. These young women deserve to get an education regardless of their hair type. Racist policies like this have no place in our education system.
Dress Code: Boys Can’t Have Long Hair
In Texas, a young boy was forbidden to attend school because his hair is too long. The child in question loves his long hair and his mother stands by her son’s decision to have long hair. I’m sitting over here cheering on that mom for allowing her son to decide what his hair should look like.
My question to the school is why are you telling young boys they are not allowed to get an education because their hair is too long? If you are afraid the other kids will tease or bully him then you should be diligent in teaching the other kids it’s not ok to tease or bully.
Once upon a time it was quite popular for boys to have long hair. In fact, for much of history it was acceptable for men to have long hair. Across many cultures men to this day still have long hair.
How can the hair of a small boy be so important in school policies? If my son wants long hair, he can have long hair. I do not care. That’s a battle I will not fight with my son when he is capable of making a decision like that. Why is the school fighting it? It’s absurd.
What Should Actually Happen
Is it so completely wrong for our children to have any say in what they can and cannot wear? In their hairstyle choices? In their own personal styles?
The parents that support dress codes should really take a look at what message we are sending our children. Do you want to send the message it’s ok to bully and mistreat people because they are different? Do you want to send the message that it’s ok to bully because the victim of bullying should change?
Instead of solving this issue we force all the kids to abide by certain dress codes and rules to try to minimize unwelcome behavior. The problem here is you aren’t teaching the kids anything.
If you want bullying to stop. If you don’t want rumors. If you want the kids to focus on education then you need to teach them how to respect each other.
By instead putting restrictions on their appearance you are actually telling your children that appearance matters. You teach your kids it’s ok to look down on those different from them and treat them differently or even badly.
I can agree that children should not wear shirts that promote alcohol, drug use, or violence. I can agree that clothing should cover underwear and bathing suit parts at all times.
Boys should wear shirts at all times as should the girls. However, a girl’s shoulders are no more a distraction to a boy than a boy’s shoulders are to a girl.
Teach your children to respect other people no matter what their clothing is, this will go a lot further in limiting distraction in school.
One more point before I end this. Is it possible that the dress codes put into place to minimize distraction from education are actually causing more harm than good? With our children focused on standing up against these dress codes are they really focused on education?
Let us get rid of these dress codes. It’s time to start teaching our children, as a community, that it doesn’t matter what someone wears. It’s time to teach our children how to behave with people that are different than them.
We should teach our children right from wrong. To love and show love to others who are different. We should embrace our differences and learn from them.
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