Today, readers are discussing Elizabeth Renzetti’s column, Kids are learning something useful: how to fight foolish school dress codes.
Hooray for a voice of reason. If a math whiz showed up in a clown costume everyday, her peers would probably treat her like a clown until she started getting the best marks in calculus and handing out her study tips. Elizabeth Renzetti can dress as she pleases and so can you and so can the kids. - Bishenden
Maybe I am old fashioned but I think there is a time and place for everything. Kids should not go to school with their underwear showing - save it for the weekend. - Victoria43
Maybe my kids and I are dinosaurs, but we’re okay with the school dress code, which says no crop tops, overly short skirts or shorts, spaghetti straps or inappropriate messaging. As long as one gender isn’t unfairly targeted, and kids aren’t publicly shamed, I think kids need to learn limits and a certain academic decorum should be maintained so that students can focus on job one (learning). A few recent examples that I’m guessing got discreetly addressed by my kids' school dress code (usually the principal has a quick chat with the student in her office so I’m guessing she did since the episode was not repeated):
1. A t-shirt with the f-bomb on it.
2. Another t-shirt with a sexist slur.
3. A girl who came to school in a halter and shorts so flimsy that my teenage kids (boy & girl) said to me, "It was like she was wearing her underwear, Mom! Everybody was talking!"
4. A boy wearing dirty, threadbare and super-short cut-off shorts.
Should kids be spending their energies standing up for the right to wear the above? I’d rather they just focused on math. - Freshycat
I’m sincerely puzzled by this article. Why are dress codes antiquated and ridiculous? Isn’t the purpose of school to educate students and isn’t part of that education teaching them expectations of the working world? When I go see my accountant or lawyer I don’t want to see them wearing beer t-shirts over swim trunks paired with flip flops nor do I want to see their midriffs, male or female, even if they feel more comfortable dressed that way. Yes, I get the issue here is that the female students were targeted in a manner that was inappropriate and the reasoning was asinine but I know when my son was going to private school, students (male or female) who wore pants that were not regulation got sent to the office to put on a pair (they had clean spares). A bit much, maybe. But here’s a thought, don’t send your kids to a school with uniforms if you take issue with dress codes. Get over it already. - Olivia2408
Every generation in the last 125 years has bucked the status quo in school. This is nothing new. - Colonel1972
From the Comments is a new feature designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.