For the most part, I am a rule-follower. I always have been. I have never really been the one to push the limits, see what I can get away with, or even tiptoe over the line to see what happens. For this reason, I have never been drunk, I have never touched an illegal drug, I politely follow most laws (I have sped down the road but I do try and stay in a reasonable speed limit) and I try to be polite to other people.
That is part of why I am so mystified at the rash of stories on the internet in the last couple of years wherein parents are “outraged” when their kid breaks a rule at school and is punished. Now, to be fair, there are some schools that are taking things too far. But for the most part, I keep seeing stories about angry, irate parents whose kids broke the rules and how unfair it is.
My favorite are the ones about girls outfits at school.
Now, I don’t have kids, but I was a girl in school at one time (a million and a half years ago), and I don’t really remember school dress code violations being such a thing. The biggest thing I remember from my school days is that you were not allowed to wear shorts after a certain time of year or before a certain time of year. And once you were allowed to wear them again – no matter how cold the day was – you had a bunch of people in them…because they could. And if you wore them before/after you were allowed, I am pretty sure you went home to change.
And I can guarantee you, that my parents would have sided with the school.
I don’t care how hot it was, how inconvenient it was, how stupid we thought the rule was, my parents would have said – you knew it was not allowed, so you should not have done it.
So why are so many parents outraged by the school dress codes that have existed since we were all in school? Do school dress codes unfairly target girls over boys? Should girls be punished for their “effect” on boys? Or, is this a larger issue that has to do with how girls are taught to be “sexy” too young and therefore don’t even realize that the way they dress is (at times) inappropriate?
As a rule-follower, I am inclined to side with the school in MOST cases. I have a seen a few that were ridiculous and I shook my head at an overzealous school system that took things too far. But for the most part, like it or not, these are the rules and you have to follow them. It is a great lesson for life really – there will always be times and places where you will have rules to follow and it doesn’t matter if you agree with the or not.
So what do you think?