Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Letters: School dress codes

I agree with Mr Baskin that we've seen lots of smoke but little fire on the real effects of requiring kids to dress a certain way in school. It would be a lot to ask a Courier reporter to undertake this sort of research, but I'll bet AP has a few things in its catalog that might prove more illuminating.

I'm ambivalent about the issue myself. The most orderly kids I've seen wore school uniforms -- in Japan, which imported its school systems, right down to the uniform styles, from Prussia circa 1900. I recall vividly the horde of first-graders marching past my window every morning, each offering exactly the same perky 'Good morning!' to the crossing guard, each in his or her exactly matching yellow hat and yellow patent-leather backpack. This uniformity was terrific for making orderly factory workers, but when globalization hit and the corporate masters abandoned their accustomed paternalism, suddenly the country was hard up for people who could think on their own, and huge numbers of kids were just dropping out and living with their parents into their 30s. Balance is important.

I also never saw a teenager who didn't act like a teenager just because she was in uniform. And the issue is really about keeping teens under control, isn't it? Well, you know what? They are totally hip to that, too.


leftturnclyde said...

Uniforms No
resonable , fairly enforced expectations of whats acceptable

Steven Ayres said...

Sounds a lot like what you might want in a legal code in general, dunnit?