Monday, October 5, 2009


A while back, I started a thread called TOTs, Ticked Off Tuesdays. I was afraid that once I gave myself license to complain via the blog-o-sphere, I might go a little overboard; so I decided to limit myself to one "crazy" per week. However, this Tuesday timeline is not working out for me. As a matter of fact, Tuesdays usually seem to be pretty good days. Therefore, I've decided to change the topic to "Ticked Off Topics" so now I can rant any day of the week. Consider yourself warned.
And here we go...*ahem*
Today's topic is (dun, dun, duuunnnn) standardized dress at Hometown ISD (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!) When our school district first instituted standardized dress four years ago, I have to admit I did not have a strong opinion on it one way or the other. At first, it wasn't so bad. Hannah wasn't particularly fond of it, but Hallie thought it was the best thing ever. She was so cute in her little jumpers with long socks and mary jane shoes. And it didn't take long for HannahKate to settle in to the routine of khaki pants and a polo shirt every. single. day.
Now, however, it is a much different story at our house. Can we just say that Hallie will only be able to pull off the jumper-long-sock-school-girl look for, maybe, the remainder of fourth grade? After that, it's no longer cute and they no longer make jumpers in her size.
Which leads us to the next dilemma~tucking in the shirt. Really, who tucks anymore? I know I don't. I understand the reason for the tucking rule. Its those dang hoodlums who wear their pants 12 sizes too big and shirts that come down to their knees in order to cover up the "sag" in their jeans (or the weapon they're concealing). However, for a child like Hallie, there is no such thing as a pair of pants 12 sizes too big. And its pretty much impossible to find a shirt that comes down to her knees. And let's just be honest and say, it is not attractive when she tucks her shirt in. I suppose I could make peace with the dress code if they would simply allow shirts of a reasonable length to be untucked.
And "reasonable" is the operative word here...
The thing is this: our district had a dress code in place before standardized dress, but it was enforced in a haphazard, subjective way. Standardized dress was supposed to clear all of that up. My children, along with most of the other students in HISD, would be properly dressed and operate well within the confines of a much more lenient policy. However, in order to control the small population who's parents don't know or don't care what their children are wearing, the rest of our children are subject to unreasonable and unneccessary requirements.
By no means am I opposed to a dress code that prohibits gang affiliation or promotes modest dress in order to curtail distractions throughout the school day. But as I watched students filing out of the high school yesterday, it struck me that you cannot mandate morality.
Ok, so here's the thing now: I've been working on this post over a week now trying to tie it up neatly and get out with some sense of closure. But I can't. And today, my nine-year-old gets in the car with a warning from the guidance counselor about the necessity of socks. Socks! Hallie wore a polo underneath a sweatshirt (the loophole in the tucking rule), a skort, leggings and zebra print ballet flats. We knew we were pushing the envelope with black/white shoes, but apparently the greater offense was that she was not wearing socks with her dress shoes. Apparently you are required to wear socks until you are in the seventh grade. At that time, however, zebra print shoes are no longer acceptable because its too difficult to tell if they are black with white stripes or white with black stripes.
Like I said, I'm not opposed to a reasonable dress code...but what do socks have to do with gang prevention and modest dress?!?! Sheesh! I'm just gonna hit "Publish Post" before I say something I'll regret.


Beth said...

I'm with ya. My 6th grade son's middle school has a dress code & he got a dress code violation the 1st week of school for wearing "green" khaki shorts as opposed to "tan" khaki shorts. Never mind that his polo shirt was tucked in neatly with a belt, obviously in the "spririt" of the dress code. He had to wear a neon vest all day. Humiliating.

Denyse said...

As if "neon" were closer to dress code than "green khaki"....
How awful!

TheMil10s said...

Has anyone had to miss one of the "free" dress days? Due to an absence we missed "jean and jersey" day this week. It was NOT pretty in our house! Somehow, the idea of wearing jeans and a jersey on Saturday didn't seem to make up for it.

Paisley said...

I'm not crazy about some of the dress codes either. My granddaughter's do not have to wear the uniforms but they have been discussing the issue. I hope they don't get them because they are strict enough on the dress code now. All tops have to be tucked in which looks awful when the top is not the type to be worn tucked in. No sleeveless tops. She has to wear a belt on anything that has belt loops. This one was really tough when she was in kindergarten. The 5 year olds had a difficult time unbuckling the belts at the bathroom breaks and an even harder time getting the belt back on. Some even had accidents because they couldn't get the belt off fast enough. I can understand the dress codes but as long as the kids are dressed and they are neat and covered that should be enough.