Harry Wong
Jan 2017
Vol 14 No 1

Let’s Get Our Priorities in Order

By Anita Swigart

Teachers are spending time enforcing dress codes when they could be using their time teaching.

Lately, at my high school our focus has been on something that is the lowest rung of my priority list – dress code. Yes, we are in what would probably be considered a “conservative” community, but these students live there and I would like to believe that their parents are aware of what their students wear to school, so why am I spending so much time writing detentions and sending students to the office for “dress code violations?” At least one of our administrators and one guidance counselor is spending hour after hour assessing student dress and dealing with parents. Is this the best use of their time?

When it comes time for me to look at my emails I find one after another from teachers who want to make everyone aware that so-and-so needs to keep her hoodie zipped, otherwise too much cleavage will show. Some of the teachers are quite militant about it: using rulers to determine if a girl’s dress is “midway between top of leg and knee” and these are the FEMALE TEACHERS. I can’t believe that this increases the learning in these teachers’ classes, and isn’t that upon which we should be concentrating our efforts?

Why can students have pierced ears, but no other piercing? What is wrong with “spaghetti straps?” How do those affect learning? In my opinion, all of this is counterproductive. Not only are skilled professionals spending time on something that doesn’t really matter, but those students who break the code are spending time sitting in the office (if they have no other clothes at school to put on and a parent cannot bring any) rather than participating in class.

It is true that I would object to T- shirts with racist or any type of offensive slogans, but there I draw the line. The fashions that are such “distractions” are really only distracting to the teachers who
object to them. The students don’t care that much, and as we all know, teenagers are more interested in themselves than in others anyway.

I don’t want to spend time checking my students for “dress code violations”; however, when I don’t do it, emails start flying around from others wondering why so-and-so has gone through 3 classes without getting a detention and being sent to the office. Come on! Let’s spend our time where it is needed. We are not at school to police students’ dress; we are there to teach. Please let me do it without worrying that I have missed seeing a hole in the cuff of one of my student’s jeans. Let’s move into the 21st century.

I have students who don’t yet know what a blog is or how to effectively search for information on the Internet. Isn’t this more important than whether they have their tongue pierced? (ouch!) Let’s just get over this dress code issue and teach.



Comment on this article...

Next Article...
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 and is filed under *ISSUES, Anita Swigart, December 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.8 No.12 December 2011

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Importance of Culture
What results would you expect if you had over $15 billion to spend to effect change?

Cover Story by Bill Page
If You're Gonna Be a Camel, Ya Gotta Have a Hump
I failed in the very essence of my job: my teaching didn't get through to kids' heads....

»Coaching the Urban Educator - Positive Self-Talk: Your Personal Guidance CounselorAndrea Cleveland
»CancerQuest: Cancer Education CurriculumNews Desk
»12 Ways to Ensure an Effective LectureSusan Fitzell
»Featured Lessons, Crafts, Activities for DecemberTeachers.Net Resources
»Apple Seed Quotes for EducatorsBarb Stutesman
»Flash Tutorials for Biological SciencesNews Desk
»Bacon-Wrapped DatesTeachers.Net Community
»Characteristics of a Truly Great PrincipalTeachers.Net Community
»Polar Express Theme Lessons, ActivitiesTeachers.Net Community
»Light On A Snowy Day - A Story for ChildrenArtie Knapp
»New Book "The You We Adore" Celebrates Adoptive LoveNews Desk
»Printables Created by PreK-12 Teachers - FREETeachers.Net Community
»5 Web Sites for Busy EducatorsMarjan Glavac
»Engagement Beyond the ClassroomDr. Brad Johnson & Tammy Maxson McElroy
»Lost Libyan Cities Discovered After Gadhafi - New Archaeological Discovery Attracts International Attention (Resources)News Desk
»Harm Reduction - Realistic Approach To Addictions?Robert Rose
»If You’re Gonna Be a Camel, YaGotta Have a Hump; But, Nobody Says You’ve Gotta Be a Camel.Bill Page
»Into the Woods: Kindergarten Play a Reminder that Every Day of School is an Epic JourneyTodd Nelson
»Learning Centers with a Christmas Theme - Karen's PreK PageKaren Cox
»December is... Special Days this MonthRon Victoria
»If Teachers Cannot Connect to Themselves, They Will Not Connect With Students!Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
»Best Butter Cookies Ever - Shared by MagooTeachers.Net Community
»Learning the Value of DiversityLeah Davies
»Draw a Winter SnowfallTim Newlin
»Christmas Dreams - Original Song by Tim NewlinTim Newlin
»Smackdown: Pangrelor vs. Middle Earth by Robert Louis Smith, Author of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the ShamalansNews Desk
»Work Refusers: Remedies That WorkRuth Herman Wells
»Labels, Toxic Psychiatry, Empathic TherapyRobert Rose
»Let's Get Our Priorities in OrderAnita Swigart

By State
AL   AK   AZ   AR   CA   CO   CT   DE   DC   FL   GA   HI   ID   IL   IN   IA   KS   KY   LA    ME   MD   MA   MI   MN   MS   MO   MT   NE   NV   NH   NJ   NM   NY   NC   ND   OH   OK   OR   PA   RI   SC   SD   TN   TX   UT   VT     VA   WA   WV   WI   WY