April 06, 2006

Middle School Bans Patriotic Clothing

The Shaw Heights Middle School of Colorado is comprised of half Hispanics. With all the controversy of late over immigration, apparently these youngsters have taken to getting into the mix of issues that are difficult even for adults to grasp. So with adolescents, what you get is ignorance abounding with know-nothing 7th graders making comments about the Mexicans going back to the border etc.
The Principle’s manner of dealing with it was to impose a dress code banning all clothing that is--or could be--perceived as “patriotic.”
My thoughts? First, I think all schools ought to have dress codes just as we did, when as kids, we were actually getting educated. I remember Jeannie DiPietro—the new girl from California--getting sent home from Geometry for wearing a skirt that was way too short. It might have been fashionable for the west coast but in the mid-west, it was grounds for removal.
Ah, those were the days; when everyone graduating High school could actually read, could actually write, and could actually recite the preamble to the Constitution and locate their own state on a map. Those days are a fantasy now.
So I like the idea of a dress code, but this dress code is inane. What are “perceived” patriotic clothes? Camouflage means hunting in my cultural context but at the middle school they are among the banned articles.
"We started to see a drift of focus," said Principal Myla Shepherd. "When you have something that is a political statement, become used in a way that hurts others, that's when I felt the need to step into a more neutral place."
Again I really sympathize but the “drift of focus” commenced about 30 years ago when, according to Jonathan Silber—President of Boston University--teacher’s colleges starting producing social engineers with a background in learning theory and abandoned the requirement that teachers actually know their subject matter.
With all due respect, these seventh and eighth grade half-wits are already out of focus and in control of the school as they are in most all schools today. The battle is already lost. The immigration issue is just one of a thousand distractions that have been allowed to become distractions by derelict parents, improperly educated teachers and powerless principals.
I’d love to offer some hope, but the answers I offer were rejected over the course of those same 30 years so; the bed is made; now try and get some rest. Good luck…


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