Dress Code Petition
Letter to the Editor
As a parent of Bradley County students and as an adult I am appalled at the Dress Code Policy that has been changed in our schools. Our children have the right to convey their individuality in speech as well as in their attire.
We as adults are more than capable of deciding what is and what is not appropriate for our children. It has been stated that any clothing that is considered unsafe, distracting, a health hazard, offensive or degrading or represent gang symbols will not be permitted. I was not aware of any gang related issues in Bradley County and I am sure that my child's hoop earrings are not a health hazard. Many people (which includes students) express their attitudes, in part, by their clothing. Is not "change in clothing" a warning sign for more problems? If so, how is preventing this warning a safety advantage? Is this not a lesson to our children that anybody who dresses differently than they do is a "bad person" or "doesn't belong" and should be avoided.
There may be problems achieving the "proper work attitude" in classes these days, but mandating certain clothing seems like an ineffective indirect fix. If the faculty or school officials are not able to teach our children because they have on a tank top and denim jeans then our problem lies much deeper than "clothing." We have been yanked from one dress code to another, we the parents have had enough. Denim Jeans , Sweat Pants , Jogging Pants, Fleece, Polyester, Leather , and Suede all have no bearing on education. If the teacher were more willing to take the time to teach our kids, they could wear burlap sacks and be taught in shacks. When will people learn that you don't have to dress like business professionals and attend schools with marble floors to get an education? I believe this is simply an attempt to mold children to the white middle class ideal. This comes to light in the fact that if clothing was a danger they would not allow the said clothing at any time, Right ? Well this is not the practice. They bribe our children to make them money in the sale of school fund raisers (Child Solicitation of goods) by offering dress down days. If the clothing is such a problem it would never be offered .
If the local government is doing something that the state government doesn't allow, or is in violation of the Constitution, isn't it our DUTY as citizens to oppose it? Or is that just something we teach the students in government class, but don't really expect them to believe?
Finally, as the Supreme Court stressed in Tinker, (protection of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth. Pp. 505-506) school officials can regulate or ban expressive conduct by students only if their forecast of disruption rests on substantive facts, not on mere speculative fear of disruption.
We, the undersigned, call on the Bradley County Board of Education to revise the Dress Code policy. Main points: Denim Jeans , Sweat Pants , Jogging Pants , Fleece , Polyester , Leather ,and Suede .
We would like to thank everybody for their support on this issue.
Chris and Denise Bazzell, Cleveland.