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Love Notes – Covering up

Posted on June 11, 2014 by Maple Creek

June is here, and at schools all across the country that means tube tops and short shorts.

Of course, that also means schools are trying to remind students what’s appropriate and not appropriate to wear to class.

I’m always amazed at the amount of complaints evoked from students and their parents over this – as if they’re shocked that, yes, once again school officials are asking teens to cover up while in class and walking the halls.

Schools in Nova Scotia and Quebec are among a number that have already had students and parents complaining and protesting and going to the media to make their outrage known.

But simply put, the problem isn’t with the school’s dress code, it’s the students’ inability to follow it.

By the time June hits, it’s hot out. We all know it gets hot out. But you’re not likely going to be able to wear a halter top to your summer job or eventually the office of your full-time job either when the mercury hits 35 C in August.

Parents talking to their teens about what’s appropriate and not appropriate to wear is one of the keys, but teens should also have enough self-respect and decency to choose to wear clothing that garners respect from others.

Unfortunately, I went to a high school where I’m sure there was a dress code, but it was never actually enforced. To add to that, it was during the years of belly tops and those shirts that were literally a handkerchief that tied at the back – one of the many reasons I would never go back to high school.

It’s one issue that I think is absolutely ridiculous for parents to even attempt to back their kids on. If school staff say it’s inappropriate attire, 95 per cent of the time it probably is.

Moms and dads, don’t walk into the school and challenge the staff’s call on your child’s clothing. Accept the fact your son or daughter was dressed inappropriately.

Yes, a lot of the time it’s the girls who are told to go put a sweater or pants on. That’s because most guys don’t come to school wearing wifebeaters, belly tops or itty-bitty shorts (thank goodness). There’s nothing sexist about it.

The three-finger-length shirt strap rule and tip-of the-fingers rule for shorts seems pretty reasonable to me.

Dress how you like on your own time, but when you’re in a learning environment you live by their rules.

Like many of the poor decisions young people make, I like to give partial credit to the media and celebrities. I applaud the few famous role models out there who don’t believe that when it comes to articles of clothing less is more.

Sure, you should be able to express your individuality and wear what you like – to a certain extent. Being a teenager is all about discovering what you like and don’t like and becoming the unique person you’re meant to be.

But that doesn’t mean strutting around an educational institution dressed like you should be at the beach instead.

No one is expecting students to come to school in a pantsuit like they’re walking into a job at a law firm (unless uniforms are part of the school’s policy). All schools are asking is that youth cover up. How kids choose to do so is up to them.

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