The parochial school our three youngest go to is looking to implement a dress code starting in the 2009-10 school year. Our kids are all strongly against it. At first both Les and I were for it, but the more I've thought about it, the more I disapprove. There was a ballot sent to each family and we ended up not turning ours in because we couldn't agree.
Here's the thing - in a parochial school of a denomination that focuses its theology on grace, the dress code as proposed comes across as a completely legalistic, white bread set of rules that forces the kids into a single mold instead of letting them be themselves, the selves that God loves each individually and for who they are, not how well they can blend into a middle class crowd. What kind of lesson is that? Especially since there are few instances of what I would call objectionable dress that I've seen. This is a classic example of, "Well, we can't seem to get the parents of a few kids to agree on what is acceptable dress for their children, so we're going to just punish the whole school, that way it will be 'fair'."
Plus I must say I found the dress code as drawn up to be ridiculously narrow - down to specifying which primary colors and bland tones are to be worn. It ends up sounding like it was lifted from Deuteronomy. And as always, the dress code narrows the range of what is acceptable for boys much more than girls (something that irks me about corporate dress codes, too). For example, pants and shorts can only be in one of two colors, whereas jumpers, skirts and skorts get to be in all five (wow!) of the allowed spectrum.
Judge for yourself - here it is in its entirety:
Shirts - polo style, turtleneck, or oxford style - may be either long or short sleeve in white, red, navy blue, or yellow without art, logo, labels, or insignia.
Pants - twill fabric only - may be pleated, plain front or elastic waist either in khaki or navy blue. Shorts should be mid-thigh length minimum. No denim, cargo style, extra pockets, rivets, or decorations.
Sweaters - can be worn in conjunction with a polo, turtleneck, or oxford shirt - the sweaters may be white, red, navy blue or yellow. They may be cardigan, crew-neck, v-neck, or sweater vests.
Belts - need to be worn with any shorts or pants that have belt loops. No belts will be required for grades K-4.
Jumpers, skirts, and skorts - may be pleated, plain front, or elastic waist in red, white, navy blue, yellow, or khaki. Length should be at or just above the knee.
These items of clothing can be purchased at Wal-Mat, Target, J.C. Penney, K-Mart/Sears, and on line at French Toast.
The students will have the opportunity on special days to wear jeans, Trinity t-shirts and other uniform related items of clothing.
Am I the only one reminded by that last paragraph of this?