Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Dress Codes: Appropriate Verses Targeted.

August 24, 2019 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) It is pretty clear that no one likes being told what to do, or how to do it. No one really likes to feel as though their personal actions are being dictated by society, however much of what we do is controlled by such. Society tells us what is appropriate and what is not. Based on the law, and what the majority deems sensible governs what we do, how we dress, and what we say. Today we are seeing push back in the sense that we should be allowed to be who we are without being targeted or shamed. The idea of being targeted becomes serious when factors such as race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic status come into play. The problem is knowing when to address targeting verses having to deal with being inappropriate based on the society we live in. It is okay to champion personal rights as long as they aren’t infringing on the rights of others, or breaking the law. Furthermore, there are certain positions we should champion for the sake our children, and their well-being. With that being said there are some issues we simply should not have to address where children are involved, but we must.

What is deemed appropriate, or inappropriate, in the area of dress and dress codes is an age-old argument. Clothes have been used to judge, demonize, and marginalize people. The discussion of dress codes is always a touchy topic because it’s important to be sure that the policy isn’t targeting any particular group of people. School and work dress codes, though they can be problematic, are generally understandable. However, applying a dress code to parents bringing their kids to and from school at a Houston area high school was a main source of controversy. Some felt the school principal was targeting black women when addressing what parent could not wear on their head or body. It understandable that parents feel they should not be approached with a dress code. It’s understandable that black women felt they were targeted, and though men were addressed some felt not to the same degree. The problem is there wasn’t a target. Parents have to consider how they walk in their child’s school. They should also be mindful not other children. Furthermore, if the goal of the principal now to raise the level of expectation at that school why would parents push back?

Before we try to build a case against the dress code that is basically basking parents not to drop off their children, or come in the building, in revealing clothes and pajamas let’s look at other places we go. Parents are not going to their job, regardless of emergency, in their pajamas, pants sagging showing underwear and cut off shorts with butt cheeks exposed. Many parents are not going to court or any other public building in that manner. As a matter of fact, they aren’t going anywhere they expect to be taken serious in this way. The question is then why show up bro your child’s school on this manner. A high school is a place running over with minors…no parent should walk in that place indecently exposed. Yes, that’s what it is, and that’s not targeting nor judging. We want our children to carry themselves respectfully, and we should be the example.

The treatment of the child must also be considered. When the parent comes to school inappropriately it’s the child that has to deal with any bullying that could stem from such. We all know children are cruel, and in a climate that says teach your children not to bully others we shouldn’t have to tell parent please don’t give bully’s ammunition to taunt your child. All parents should want what’s best for the children, and if it takes a village we must all be an example to them of what is appropriate.

As a black woman I’m rather sensitive to the discussion of dress directed at us. When I first heard of a parent dress code I was quite upset about the situation until I read the letter the principal sent out, and what she was addressing specifically. I had to remember I knew the school in question and I knew her concerns were not make believe. This wasn’t an issue of targeting, nor of society imposing an unrealistic standard upon us mean to further oppress us. This is a school administrator asking parents to come to the school dressed appropriately for the sake of the children. As a parent I have to respect this position. I know what it’s like to drop my son off, and when I sign him in I have to advert his eyes because a parent is inappropriately exposed. My son is five; he has no business seeing the private parts of a grown woman. Yes, emergency happens, and sometimes we over sleep. It’s not asking to much to throw on some clothes that doesn’t expose us inappropriately to minors, and when handling business on behalf not our children it’s not asking too much to look like have some business to handle.

We ought not expect of our children what we aren’t willing to give, or demonstrate. Being appropriate around children, even if they are teenagers, should not have caused such a stir. The climate is also focused on dealing with pedophilia, and sexually inappropriate behavior regarding children. It makes sense that adults could not expose themselves to children. What’s most disturbing is that we have to have the discussion at all. In this area we, as parents, and members of the community should hold each other accountable for the examples our children see. Let’s set a high standard verses looking for reasons to just do whatever convince allows with no regard to who it may harm. This isn’t too much to ask for where our children bare concerned.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christian.pierre.9809 and also Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MrzZeta.

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