High school attire: Yo, your butt’s hanging out of your pants

15 Nov

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: If one wants to observe questionable attire one only has to go to most malls and just about any high school. The latest example of questionable taste is described by Kelly Smith in the Star Tribune article, Minnetonka principal’s plea: ‘Cover your butts up’:

Dozens of parents and high schools across the metro endorsed a Minnetonka principal’s message Tuesday that discourages teen girls from wearing trendy tight-fitting leggings with increasingly shorter tops.

Sparking the latest debate over what’s appropriate attire in schools, David Adney sent an e-mail to high school parents Monday asking them to talk to their daughters about wearing spandex-like yoga pants or other tight-fitting leggings with T-shirts that expose “more leg and backside” and can “be highly distracting for other students.”

From Forest Lake to St. Paul, more than 70 parents and other high schools called or e-mailed Adney supporting his message, which didn’t ban leggings, but urges teens to dress more modestly.

“It must have touched a nerve,” he said, saying the school tries to get ahead of problem trends.

It’s certainly not the first time fashion and high school policies have clashed. In past years, schools have had to deal with spaghetti straps, exposed midriffs and sagging pants. Minnetonka last year cracked down on boys wearing muscle shirts.

“It’s not about trying to be the clothing police, it’s just a sensitivity issue,” Adney said. “Hopefully with us being the first to speak up, it will create a lot of conversations.”

‘Way out of control’….

Principals say concerns about fashion trends come up nearly every year — for boys and girls alike.

In Richfield, high school Principal Jason Wenschlag said they’ve had issues this year with girls wearing trendy knit hats, and the school is trying to decide how to enforce against it since boys aren’t allowed to wear baseball hats.

“It’s a constant battle,” he said about keeping on top of what’s appropriate.

Minnetonka teachers have also had to enforce a no-hat policy among boys this fall, Adney said, following last spring’s trend of boys wearing muscle shirts that were too revealing. Before that, it was boys wearing sagging pants.

A decade ago when he first started as principal, the culprits were low-cut jeans and low-cut one-shoulder shirts on girls.

Minnetonka’s handbook says attire can’t disrupt education, be offensive or inappropriate.

Don Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, said schools are legally allowed to list clothing restrictions in handbooks, which are approved by school boards.

“Students will always look for something that will be trendy; if it’s disruptive to the educational process, it may be banned,” Johnson said.

Minnetonka High School is often the lightning rod, he said. “It’s a large high school and with fairly well-to-do students who can afford the latest fashion, and they have high expectations for education.” http://www.startribune.com/local/west/179141451.html?refer=y

Particularly in the elementary grades it is important that teachers model appropriate behavior and appropriate attire. Given the number of children in distressed circumstances in contemporary society, it is important that schools be one institution where appropriate behavior is modeled. Another purpose of a good basic education is to equip children with the skills and the ability to make choices about their life. It has been my observation that many in education, not all, like to “rage against the machine” or what they perceive to be the dominant political dynamic. That is their right during their off hours. If a child wants to grow up and lead JP Morgan Chase, that is THEIR choice and THEIR right as well. The teacher is there to equip the child with the skills to follow THEIR dream. Many children come from families and backgrounds who are not as equipped to nurture and promote the child’s dreams as other families are. All children deserve a chance and a teacher modeling professional dress is an important part of the education of these children.

Moi supposes that after “business casual” probably degenerated into P.J.s and flipflops, banking giant UBS put the brakes on and delivered a dress code to its employees. Huffington Post has a good synopsis of the code along with a link to the actual document at the post, UBS 43′ Page Dress Code Warns Employees Not to Show Underwear: http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/dressing-for-success-in-school/

Apparently, too many folks on the job have no clue what is appropriate work attire. Melissa Korn writes in the Wall Street Journal article, What Not to Wear To Work:

A new survey shows U.S. adults expressing more outrage at scantily-clad co-workers this year than they did last year.

The   report, commissioned by temporary staffing firm Adecco and based on interviews with more than 1,000 U.S.  adults, found that 72% of Americans believe strapless or backless tops and dresses are “inappropriate for the workplace,” up from 66% (strapless) and 64% (backless) in June of last year.

Showing a little skin below the knee by wearing shorts, flip-flops or open-toed shoes is also a bigger no-no this year. Fifty-nine percent of respondents say shorts are inappropriate at the office, up from 55% last year. Meanwhile, 76% said flip-flops aren’t appropriate attire, up from 71%, and the percentage that disapproved of open-toed shoes in general increased to 35% from 31%.

Mini-skirts, while still meeting with disapproval by 69% of respondents, are slightly more acceptable this year than last year, when 70% said they were inappropriate.

Perhaps more surprising than the findings regarding workplace attire were the results of a question about offensive workplace activities. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents said they were offended when people clip or bite their nails at work. That means 51% actually aren’t offended when a colleague breaks out the clipper for some finger-and-toe grooming. (We beg to differ.)

Other habits respondents found offensive include taking your shoes off, putting on makeup and brushing your hair at work.    http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2012/07/20/work-wear-101-what-not-to-wear-to-work/?blog_id=226&post_id=228

It would be great if people were judged by what Dr. King described as the “content of their character,” but people are quite often judged by the clothes they are wearing. Meds Available has some interesting thoughts about clothes in the article, What your Clothes Say about You. http://medsavailable.com/articles/be-careful-of-what-you-wear-you-may-be-wearing-the-wrong-attitude

Often schools and public authorities are concerned about clothing worn by children at school because it may indicate gang affiliation or gang identity. See, Gang Identity http://www.gangfree.org/gangs_identity.html There are several reasons moi feels that all children deserve a good preschool and a good basic education. Those reasons center around the purpose of education which in addition to individual enrichment are the ability to understand and participate in the political process and the opportunity to acquire skills which will make them employable and able to care for themselves and their families.

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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