The trend has been moving TOWARDS more dress codes and more authoritarian control in school. I really should write a book on this issue. I first noticed how messed up school did things when I was 8 yrs old in the 3rd grade, about the same time I noticed the bullshit in TV commercials. It was like a bullshit sensor came on.
At 14, I wrote an angry dress code letter to the school newspaper (and tried getting it published in our local paper) because suddenly, I couldn’t wear earrings because I was a boy. This was back in 1986.
In 1990, age 18, I started Y-RIGHTS (youth rights) mailing list on the Internet. Sitting behind the green terminals, typing furiously, gathering people. Got thousands of members at its peak.
Dress codes and Uniforms were always hot issues and now, 25 years later, they’re STILL hot issues.
What’s changed is that more and more schools are adopting uniforms to bypass this completely – the whole “suspended for dress code” situations.
I still don’t know how to feel about uniforms. Some of the arguments for them are ridiculous – like ‘perceived equality’ [meangirls are meangirls (which includes boys) and they can slam you for haircuts or shoes or fingernails or anything.
Gang violence? You can embed secret codes in a myriad of ways and uniforms won’t curb that.
Yet uniforms are beloved by principals, teachers, parents, administrators… EVERYBODY…
…except the kids. Who have to wear them.
The general oppressiveness of the school system as it currently is, I sometimes shake my head and just say, “School always sucked. School does suck. School will always suck”. I hate giving in though.
I’m hopeful that future schooling will more and more be at home or in community centers online with available mentors and less and less in these strange places they’re in now that are more like detention centers than anything else.
I mean you get used to it to some degree. Prisoners get used to prison life too. But it still doesn’t mean we’re doing things the right way.