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Dressing For School Success

It’s an issue that tends to come up at this time of year and I know I’ve discussed it in the past and probably will so in the future. 

Florence High School
Florence High School (WPVI TV)

While national statistics report that public schools have been stricter in their enforcement of dress codes you are often left wondering whether students and parents have any idea of appropriate dress for the classroom.  This is even more evident during warm weather in fall and spring when it’s hard to differentiate whether kids are dressing for school or a day at the beach.

To be honest I look back at when I was in school and especially boys tended to dress quite casual although I remember most at least looked neat and clean.  The girls always dressed better and seemed to be more conscious of their appearance and certainly that was and is to be expected.

However the attire many sport today is not only casual, it’s often sloppy and I dare say in the case of girls: slutty.  Bottom line is that it has no place in a learning environment,or should have no place.  Too often though for a combination of reasons the dressed down look is being accepted and it’s fair to question why.

Central Regional High School
Central Regional High School (Central Regional School District)

Let’s start with dress codes themselves which I would imagine all public schools have.  They usually address things like the wearing of hats, torn and tattered clothing, shirts with offensive language, mid-drifts and the like.  This is all common sense or should be and I would imagine in many schools students are sent home for flagrant violations.

And therein lies the problem: home.  While it would be easy to fault schools for lack of enforcement let’s put the blame where it really belongs and that is with the parents who allow their children to walk out of the house looking like anything but a student seeking to better themselves.  Neat and clean is often confused with get out of bed, grab whatever you can, throw it on and don’t look in the mirror.

While I don’t fault the schools themselves they can do a better job of enforcement.  Of course they will tell you many stories of parents who come in to argue that what their children wear is just fine and yes when looking at some of those parents it is a matter of “the apple not falling far from the tree.”

I could make the case here for school uniforms which I strongly believe in but I’ll leave that for another day.  I would also add that schools need to do a much better job of making sure their own teachers and staff dress in a more professional matter because it starts at the top.  Again, another day for more on that.

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