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The problem is the dress code.


Guest Paul
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I just read the current dress code for the high school. No wonder they can’t enforce it. Exactly as charged, it is subjective, containing statements like “Good judgment should be executed in dressing” and “Skirts and shorts that are distracting and disruptive to the educational process are prohibited.” Those aren’t even standards, but only vague expressions of intent. They would never pass muster if challenged.

So now I understand why male teachers would be reluctant to tell female students that their spaghetti straps are inappropriate: There’s nothing about spaghetti straps in the dress code! The school can’t enforce a standard that doesn’t exist, the same as a state or municipality cannot punish someone for violating a law that isn’t on the books.

The solution is not to give up and force everyone to wear the same thing, but to do what schools all over the country are doing: adopt a sufficiently specific, properly written dress code. If you want to require at least a three-inch strap, say so. Then male teachers won’t have to worry about enforcing the code because it will be specific and objective. How can this possibly have gotten this far without the district’s attorney having noticed?

Here’s another example: “Skin tight clothing, along with other inappropriate dress that is distracting and interferes with the educational process, is not acceptable.” The prohibition against “skin tight clothing” is probably legal and enforceable. The remainder of the sentence is not. The solution is to draw a specific list of prohibited forms of dress. Look, if it’s really a problem, teachers and administrators should have no trouble devising a list. If they can't identify the problem, they don't have one.

School districts all over the country deal with this issue. Kearny can deal with it, too, but not with the current dress code. The solution is to draw a dress code that properly codifies dress that the administration wishes to prohibit. I hereby volunteer my time to help draft it. I guarantee that if the school board takes me up on it, we’ll have a reasonable and enforceable code in short order. All the fuss is completely unnecessary and it’s over nothing that can’t be easily fixed.

I’m floored that the entire staff in a public school system could fail to realize that this dress code wouldn’t pass muster. We understood the need for specificity in these codes forty years ago. What the hell happened? Every issue I look at, I can hardly believe how this school system is mishandling things.

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I just read the current dress code for the high school. No wonder they can’t enforce it. Exactly as charged, it is subjective, containing statements like “Good judgment should be executed in dressing” and “Skirts and shorts that are distracting and disruptive to the educational process are prohibited.” Those aren’t even standards, but only vague expressions of intent. They would never pass muster if challenged.

So now I understand why male teachers would be reluctant to tell female students that their spaghetti straps are inappropriate: There’s nothing about spaghetti straps in the dress code! The school can’t enforce a standard that doesn’t exist, the same as a state or municipality cannot punish someone for violating a law that isn’t on the books.

The solution is not to give up and force everyone to wear the same thing, but to do what schools all over the country are doing: adopt a sufficiently specific, properly written dress code. If you want to require at least a three-inch strap, say so. Then male teachers won’t have to worry about enforcing the code because it will be specific and objective. How can this possibly have gotten this far without the district’s attorney having noticed?

Here’s another example: “Skin tight clothing, along with other inappropriate dress that is distracting and interferes with the educational process, is not acceptable.” The prohibition against “skin tight clothing” is probably legal and enforceable. The remainder of the sentence is not. The solution is to draw a specific list of prohibited forms of dress. Look, if it’s really a problem, teachers and administrators should have no trouble devising a list. If they can't identify the problem, they don't have one.

School districts all over the country deal with this issue. Kearny can deal with it, too, but not with the current dress code. The solution is to draw a dress code that properly codifies dress that the administration wishes to prohibit. I hereby volunteer my time to help draft it. I guarantee that if the school board takes me up on it, we’ll have a reasonable and enforceable code in short order. All the fuss is completely unnecessary and it’s over nothing that can’t be easily fixed.

I’m floored that the entire staff in a public school system could fail to realize that this dress code wouldn’t pass muster. We understood the need for specificity in these codes forty years ago. What the hell happened? Every issue I look at, I can hardly believe how this school system is mishandling things.

It has already worked for the grammar school so why can't they accept it for the high school. It's the individual's who will try to cut the sleeves of the shirts or the ones who hike up the khaki shorts so high that it leaves little to the imagination.

I remember the last time you volenteered your services it cost the town a good amount of chump change to quiet you. Thank you but I prefer to let the officials who we voted for do what they think is best.

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It has already worked for the grammar school so why can't they accept it for the high school. It's the individual's who will try to cut the sleeves of the shirts or the ones who hike up the khaki shorts so high that it leaves little to the imagination.

A good dress code (which we don't currently have) will fulfill that purpose just fine without taking away students' freedom to choose what they wear. Why do you prefer the option that provides less freedom?

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It has already worked for the grammar school so why can't they accept it for the high school. It's the individual's who will try to cut the sleeves of the shirts or the ones who hike up the khaki shorts so high that it leaves little to the imagination.

I remember the last time you volenteered your services it cost the town a good amount of chump change to quiet you. Thank you but I prefer to let the officials who we voted for do what they think is best.

You keep saying this, and no matter how many times you say it, it's still not true. Many people thought we should have pressed a lawsuit, but we didn't because our main interest was in correcting what had been done wrong. The fact that it cost the BoE our lawyers' expenses is not our fault. If they had listened to me last October, we wouldn't have had this problem.

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I never thought I'd say this but I agree with Paul, the dress codes in Kearny High School are vauge. But the ideology behind the uniforms is so irrational that I am at a loss for words. Of course I will say that the kids do dress inappropriately, that is not being debated. But the idea that school uniforms will decrease violence in a school is nothing short of lunacy. Kids will pick on each other no matter what, I will find a snow storm in Iraq before kids are at a loss for insults. I understand uniforms being permitted in Private Schools because you pay for your kids to go there, you can always take them out and put them in public school, but if you dont want to pay a large amount of money to go to a school then why should your kids be forced to wear uniforms. There also is no way to say that uniforms will cease weapons from being brought into the school, because if one wanted to they could use a pen as a weapon. I see no actual point in a school uniform. Also isnt it easier to fake a school uniform then a school ID?

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