Tuesday, February 01, 2011

dress codes

In 20 years, I will be interested to see how this whole home schooling trend turns out. On paper, it seems great. You teach your own kid at their own pace in ways that interest them, and then you get them their socialization elsewhere. And it seems like basic math. Individual attention + personalized curriculum = a lifelong love of learning and respect for knowledge. But then there's the stereotype, which persists no matter what the advocates try to do. You know how sometimes you can kind of tell a gay person in a crowd by how they act? Well the same can often be said of home schooled kids. But instead of over-sized gestures and snazzier clothes you get twitchy kids freaking out whenever anyone kisses in front of them. Okay, so that's an exaggeration, but some kids don't do well having everything catered to them personally. Or rather, they don't do well when it ends.

I kinda hate the school system. They take wonderful little kids full of potential and energy and trim off all the fun bits and interesting edges until they get cookie cutter conformists. I hate that PE class is mandatory. As far as I'm concerned it should be illegal to force kids to undress in order to pass a class. I don't really care about the reasons for it, adults are telling kids from the age of 11 up to take off their clothes twice a day or else fail the class. And I do have an issue with dress codes. At work is one thing; if you don't like the dress code at work you can go get another job. But I live in an area where the next closest middle school is 15 miles away, and exactly the same. In my opinion, unless it is dangerous (high heels, shorts in winter) or vulgar (too revealing, sexual innuendo) or promotes illegal behavior (pot leaf graphics, alcohol brands, tobacco), it should be a matter of expression. Yes, I really mean that. Bathrobes, Cindy Lauper clothes (wow, I'm dating myself there) whatever. If there's a kid who wears a wedding dress every Monday, it's only going to be news the first couple minutes of the first couple Mondays. After that, it's just Tyler being Tyler. I really don't believe in a vague sense of "appropriate attire." Who gets to decide what's appropriate and how did they get to be the ones to legislate taste? They say kids need to dress for success, but success in what industry?

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