Thursday, September 25, 2008

on boys wearing makeup.

I got a chance to watch this video segment on today (while at work) about a boy being told he was out of dress code for the make up he was wearing.

It's an interesting story, and certainly a headline-grabber. (CNN has this feature that tracks the top-read stories, and I didn't see it in the list, but I also didn't see a text link for the story, so it might only be on video at this point.) I like that stories like this get published and are (generally, in my opinion) popular, but I do find it a bit ironic that this is seen as the liberal crusading of the media by those folks in Middle America while the press bends over backwards not to ask any tough questions of the Administration and that's just them doing their job.

Insofar as the story itself, there's little to go on. When schools and school districts make up dress codes, they intentionally use vague language (like is highlighted in the story) on purpose. Trust me, it doesn't take being there to know that; we all get it. "No excessive/distracting make-up"? What does that even mean? "I don't know what it is, but I know it when I see it." Not a great precedent for law - or in this case, rule.

It's dangerous to set these kinds of limits, in my opinion. But, speaking as an over-25 adult who's officially sold out, I also understand the need for these sorts of rules. I was recently told a story by my good buddy's wife, whose step-father is in deep trouble over in his school district for simply trying to look after a kid whom he thought the other kids might be laughing at/teasing. It's a cruel, cruel double-edged sword, the fact that people expect us to give so much of ourselves to their kids and to the job in general, but then feel the need (right? responsibility?) to hold us to their standards when something doesn't work out. It's hard work. No, but really; it is.

What's the feelings out there? If you saw that guy in your class, would you think it was distracting? What about other commonly addressed issues? I'll tell you the one they warn me about the most often: "Don't even bother to tell that girl she's out of dress code. It's not worth the potential lawsuit." So I'm told there's a set of rules (most of which I don't agree with anyway) and then told to ignore them because of the threat of the litigious society in which we live. Man. What a world.


R said...

Cool blog...interesting subject here. I like where you're going with it. You may want to check out They're a wonderful organization and I think they should come to all schools.

Michael said...

Thanks for the comment! I'm currently looking at the site you recommended...interesting. I'll have to look into it a little more.