Thursday, May 1, 2008

Why We Need Dress Codes In Our Schools - Dixon Middle School Parents Vote On Proposed New Student Dress Code In Provo, Utah

The picture you see on the left is a perfect illustration as to why we need dress codes in our schools. Originally posted on Stormfront, this is a picture of a new fashion craze emerging in Brazil and sure to wend its way here - Ultra Low-Rise Jeans.

And Dixon Middle School in Provo, Utah is concerned about this as well, as are many of the parents of students who are or will be attending. So there's a new dress code in the works, but it requires that 80 percent of parents vote in favor of it for adoption. Full story published in the Deseret News.

The proposed dress code requires students to wear collared shirts, but they can wear a plain T-shirt underneath for the layered look. They can wear khaki, brown, green, navy or black pants. Shorts or skirts below the knee are allowed. No logos or decals are permitted. Earrings are the only piercings allowed but other safe, moderate jewelry is OK.

Parents voted in two separate waves. Parents of sixth-graders voted on April 23rd after seeing students model the proposed standard attire in a fashion show. Girls sported layers of T-shirts and blouses with pants. Boys showed off striped polo shirts and khaki shorts with pockets. Parents of seventh-graders waited until they attended parent/teacher conferences on May 1st before voting at the school, located at 750 W. 200 North in Provo. More parents may vote at the school's Spring Fiesta on May 2nd. The school's dress standard committee states that 80 percent parental support is needed for the proposal to pass. The school will announce the results next week.

The story goes on to highlight a few parent-child conflicts developing at home, none unmanageable. And that's why one Provo mom, Chris Coffman, will not disclose how she will vote - at least not in front of her 13-year-old daughter, anyway. "I'm going to keep my vote silent to preserve peace at home," Coffman said. "But that tells you how I'm voting". Seventh-grader Laura Coffman, like many of her classmates, is adamantly against the proposal. "I don't want it," she said.

The main complaints from parents in the past have been boys wearing baggy jeans that show their underwear; girls wearing low-cut jeans that show their underwear — or more; and boys wearing tight, low-cut girls' jeans. But simply requiring "modest and appropriate" jeans would leave the policy too open for interpretation. So the committee agreed to ax jeans altogether.

Commentary: This looks like a good dress code. It provides flexibility but establishes rational, defensible boundaries. Students shouldn't be allowed to wear whatever they want - this does not prepare them effectively for the real world where employers will impose sartorial expectations upon them. The primary purpose of school is to prepare the next generation for life - not to be a 12-year party. Boys should not be dressing like bums, and girls should not be dressing like whores.

This dress code will also resolve in advance one of the major sticking points at so many schools - logo T-shirts. Click HERE to review a number of media stories chronicling disputes about T-shirts at many schools.

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