School dress codes

Published 8:58 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

It is unfortunate that we live in a time when we have to tell our children how to dress appropriately. Like it or not, that’s where we are in our society. It’s good that Suffolk Public Schools administrators are discussing this issue and being proactive. There needs to be a standard set – and enforced – for what is considered appropriate and what is not.

Enforcement really is the key. School officials can publish the dress code in the student handbook, but if they do not enforce it, it becomes – as one board member said – “a joke.” If students believe administration will not enforce the dress code, it’s a short jump for teenagers to believe they won’t enforce other rules. A clear and precise dress code, if it is enforced, will go a long way toward helping our children distinguish appropriate dress and behavior.

To that end, parents need to be proactive by educating themselves about the school dress code. As one board member said, most of the children aren’t the ones buying their clothes. If parents know a particular item will not be acceptable for a student to wear to school, they likely will not spend their money on it. Parents need to get involved.

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The other responsible party is the school administrators. Until they discipline themselves to consistently uphold the highest standards in their schools, they will continue to get mediocre results.