Context should dictate fashion

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It’s amazing, the flap that can arise out of a pair of shorts. But it’s a little like real estate and location, when it comes to clothing, the social context says a lot.

In trying to get a point across about appropriate apparel to wear to class, the Chignecto Central Regional School Board didn’t have the greatest example to sway the public. A story that got huge play in the media Tuesday was about a junior high female student in Truro being told the shorts she wore were inappropriate for being too short.

With a picture taken by her mom showing the inseam length, and displayed by news media, the school’s position lacked one thing: the shorts in question weren’t shocking. They were pretty much what you might expect a young person to wear when spring weather hits. And this girl apparently wasn’t alone.

But that’s not to say that what young people wear to school doesn’t sometimes cross the line.

The school’s message, valid as it might have been, unfortunately got muddied on a number of fronts when it hit the public. Somewhere along the line, it’s not clear where, came the claim that short shorts would be a distraction to male staff and students. That led some to suggest that ogling of females by males is the problem.

Kind of strays from any point about what’s appropriate. The board quickly backed away from the explanation.

It’s obvious standards of decency have to be set in school attire – for boys and girls. Some kids will push it to the point that people just don’t want to see what they’re willing to show. We might add that they’re attending school to acquire both the knowledge and behaviour that will help them into the professional working world where appropriate attire is required.

That said, teachers don’t need the added burden of checking kids’ clothing to determine what passes code. Their job is teaching. As with disciplinary matters, parental involvement is key to seeing that extremes aren’t the measure of their child’s wardrobe.

Organizations: Chignecto Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Truro

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Recent comments

  • Victorr
    May 14, 2014 - 16:39

    If we are going to discuss attire I think we should look at the teachers themselves...though not provocative, I think teachers lack the professionalism of years gone by. I remember male teachers with shirt and tie, females with dresses or slacks...certainly no flip flops and shorts.

  • Kyle H
    May 14, 2014 - 14:43

    The answer is simple: Uniforms. I went to school partly here in New Glasgow, and the rest in Bermuda in the late 70's into the 80's where all kids throughout all school years wear uniforms, as do a great deal of the world. There was zero flap because all were the same and the focus was on education and sports. Now with all the stupid social media world that most kids put themselves in the middle of for such taunt and viciousness. Now I bet easily 90% of the girls wear those skin tight yoga pants and asst. tight skimpy clothings seeking attention, yes, like it or not that's reality, don't put all the blame on the boys doing what boys naturally do in their teens. To me, that is the only solution, everyone is equal, not to mention looking sharp and academic. Otherwise, you'll never find a happy medium.