Dress Codes

Via Althouse, a story about a young man who got a little too extreme in his attire for a school event.

Now, I’m sympathetic to the young man’s cause – I was eleven when it happened to me – but the school I went to at the time also had this thing called a “dress code.” In fact, what it had was an honest-to-goodness uniform (and then I joined ROTC in college, so, more uniforms in a place of education). If his school stated that the appropriate show of Pink was a t-shirt and jeans, then he needed to wear a t-shirt and jeans. School is not the place for him to demonstrate to the admiration of his peers (attention whore behavior) or otherwise attempt to meet whatever emotional needs this poor young man was attempting to address. There’s therapy for that. School is for education, and in the pursuit of that education, it’s appropriate for standards of appearance to be applied – equally – to everyone. No matter how emotional a day it is for any particular student. The only educational arena in which his attire would be appropriate is if he were home-schooled, and therefore unable to distract other students with his ostentatious display.

And it is quite appropriate for school officials to set dress codes for their institution. In life, the ability to appropriately dress oneself is critically important – and this lesson is one that must be taught. By sending blatant offenders home, if necessary. Now, sometimes school officials can make a bad call – and there have been such cases before – but this was a perfectly reasonable requirement in the first place, and a perfectly reasonable reaction to an act of deliberate defiance on the part of a student.


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