Where have all the parents gone?
A few days ago I read an article about middle school students picketing for the right to wear leggings. That was what the article’s title inferred, but in actuality the students were picketing for a strict adherence to the dress code (it allows leggings under skirts/shorts; teachers however, were banning all wearing of leggings – either as pants or as “leggings”), and for the right of girls to wear what they wish without fear of being called a distraction (it had been subjectively stated that teachers were subjectively selecting the more developed girls for censorship). Many things popped into my mind.
- Why are these children picketing for fashion?
- Is society’s first response to an unpopular authoritative act to decorate posterboard and flood the streets? Have we completely bypassed sitting down and discussing issues face to face?
- If there is a set dress code, then this really ought to be a non-issue.
- Can adults seriously speak about middle school fashion without admitting these pre-teen/teens dress to be seen – and usually by the opposite sex?
- Where are the parents?
Or, to repeat the final question in another way – when did we give over dressing our children to the state? It is a sad day when teachers are called upon to give their opinion of a child’s dress. Teachers ought to be developing critical thought, literary analysis, philosophical paradigms, and mathematical proficiency – to name just a few areas of study – not policing the dress code.
So, where are the parents?
Parents who will fight these battles when necessary – and lead by example in pursuing peace with teachers through honest communication and mutual respect. Parents who will in love and out of love teach their daughters how to dress age appropriately and teach their sons how to respect women as people regardless of dress. Parents who will step up to be parents, rather than granting the state that privilege and right.
These are the parents our children, and our society, need.