Saturday, May 24, 2014

Even Superman Wore Shorts

I've heard it all now. On CBC radio, they interviewed a student who complained about his London, Ontario high school. Why? They had an issue with him wearing a spandex/lycra body suit to school. Yes, it  covered his arms and legs and went up to his neck. That was not the problem. The contention was over the body parts which were clearly on display.

It made me think of my high school years and our dress code. It's not that I agree with this, however, "back in the day", girls were allowed to wear dress pants one day per week. The rest of the time it was necessary to freeze in dresses and skirts while boys were permitted the comfort of long pants. Boys didn't all get off that easily either. There were many reports of the principal hauling young men to the town barbershop when hair length was deemed unacceptable. There was no argument and no running off to the press to complain.

In this day and age, we are of course all grateful for our many rights and freedoms. Things have changed significantly in fifty years, many for the better. Just as my years in secondary school were in some ways extreme, I believe the pendulum may have swung too far in the opposite direction. Sixteen year olds should not have the right to wear offensive clothing to school and administrators should be able to do something about it. In this case, all they requested was that he at least wear shorts over the suit...a reasonable compromise.

Sadly, it's impossible to teach common sense. It has to come from home. Although the young man in London helps give credence to all arguments favouring school uniforms, I can do one better. My mom's simple wisdom always worked. "Don't go to school in anything you wouldn't wear to a job one day."

Can't much argue with that logic.

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