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.