I drive my daughter to school every day. It's on my way to work, the timing is good and we get a few minutes alone. It's usually during this "quality" time together - all three minutes of it - when she remembers to tell me something she supposed to tell me (or give me a school notice about) the day before.
The subject of today's forgotten memo was the school's dress code.
Apparently, the school administration has been quite worried about gang activity that most likely does not exist in my town.
An assistant principal and a guidance counselor went around to each class to lecture them on the dangers of choosing the wrong wardrobe.
First order of business was the "skank code," as Natalie put it. That means the "skanky girls" can no longer wear mini skirts up to their butt cheeks, pants down to their ass cracks or shirts which reveal newly forming breasts.
That's not a problem with my daughter. See, there's only two fashions available right now. Skanky or baggy
. Nat is in the baggy club and, while she looks like a slob sometimes, I'm quite comfortable with the fact that she is not trying to look like Britney Spears posing for Maxim.
Ok, so the skank code isn't a problem. Oh, but there's more.
First, guys are no longer allowed to wear "those long shirts like gang members wear." Because, of course, they are a fire hazard. Yes, that's what the students were told. Long shirts are a fire hazard. Nothing to do with gangs. Nope, not at all.
However, it was then stated that students are no longer permitted to wear ALL ONE COLOR. I put that in caps in case you thought you were seeing it incorrectly. The teachers specified blue and red (think crips and bloods), but stated that all one-color outfits were off limits.
Well, that poses a problem for us. As Natalie obviously inherited her fashion style from me, most of her clothing is black. If for some reason she can't find a black shirt in the morning, she'll wear something else with a black sweatshirt over it.
I'll be damned if I'm going to go out and purchase a new wardrobe for my kid just because the school district all of a sudden got this idea about gangs in their heads. Ok, so there are gangs around these parts. There are crips, bloods and the notorious (around these parts) MS-13. But they are very small, concentrated groups located in very specific parts of very specific neighborhoods.
There has been no gang activity in my town. There have been no arrests made of middle school kids slicing and dicing rivals from other towns. Sure, some kids burned down the playground at the elementary school and yea, there's some vandalism and graffiti and maybe some drug use. But gangs? No.
Yet the administrators and teachers somehow feel the need to go and lecture each homeroom individually on the dangers of wearing red or blue or shirts that are too long. They didn't address the gang issue; they aren't having any kind of assembly or lecture where the kids will learn the dangers of gangs.
[I know someone posted something about a similar issue yesterday. I just can't remember who]
If they think these students are in danger of becoming boys in the hood, then why just address the gang-wear issue? Isn't that like saying "Oh, we don't care if you are in a gang. Just don't wear your colors in school, ok?"
Regardless, Nat will go to school in her usual black ensemble tomorrow. In fact, I'm going to make sure that there isn't a spot of any other color visible on her clothing.
I understand dress codes in school. But I don't understand half-addressing a problem that doesn't exist with a short lecture that barely skims the issue and issuing an edict that would not solve the problem even if it existed.
And really, who would wear all red, anyhow? That's just gauche.