Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why schools don't enforce dress codes

Reading the paper this morning, I came across a story that just made me wonder about the priorities some people set. A high school with a policy against intolerant or racially offensive messages suspended a student for three days for wearing a "You might be a redneck sports fan if ..." T-shirt. And okay, that may be extreme. If I was his mom, I might be mad, and call the principal to complain. But I'd like to think that after that, I might say to my child, "You know, this is unfair, and I don't agree. But we'll take it, and from now on, I'll look a little more closely at what you're wearing when you leave the house." Wouldn't you? Would you go to war over a shirt? Would you sue the school? That's what this family did, and though the young man in question dropped the suit a few years later, the school has since been ordered to pay his legal fees to the tune of $500,000-plus. Would you rack up half a million in legal fees to defend the wearing of a T-shirt? I've often joked about suing if my son's school put him in a dangerous or unsafe position contrary to the provisions of his IEP, and I can see parents pursuing cases like that. But a T-shirt? I just don't get it. Free speech is nice and all, but I don't think it should extend to stupid jokes on T-shirts.

My husband suggests that every time this school district has a budget shortfall -- can't afford new computers or books or music classes or sports -- they tell people to go complain to the folks who got half a million of district money over a T-shirt. You might be a ticked-off taxpayer if ...

No comments: