San Francisco has once again made the news. And no, I am not talking about the homeless people using the sidewalks as their personal restrooms; the City Commission is working on a solution to that. I’m referring to its new “No-Shame Dress Code” for its public- school students. August 24th’s USA Today reported that the school district has adopted a policy loosening its clothing code so that students can…well, loosen theirs.
Before going bonkers like I did, be comforted that the school board members have mandated that certain items must be worn: bottoms; tops; shoes; clothing that covers genitals, buttocks and nipples. Okay, go bonkers. Ask yourself, like I did…
Have any of these decision-makers read 1 Timothy 2 which addresses dressing with modesty and self-control?
New to the list of clothing students may wear are midriff-baring shirts, pajamas, and halter tops/ strapless tops. Still, there are restrictions: no bathing suits, visible underwear or clothing with pornographic messages are allowed. At least, not for this year.
Steven Fong, the district’s chief academic officer, spoke about the benefits. “We believe these changes will reduce inequitable and unnecessary discipline and help us maximize learning time. Districts across the country are adopting similar revisions for similar reasons. We are excited to be moving forward with a such a student-centered approach.” Other areas are getting on board. California’s Alameda School District “rejects the idea that certain students’ bodies are distracting and therefore must be monitored and covered.”
Bonkers! Bonkers! Bonkers!
According to this article, “Opponents of strict dress codes say punishing students for their clothing is a form of shaming that can result in body-image issues.” The answer? Let students pretty much wear what they want.
Get that? Enter a classroom with your belly hanging over your belt and a cleavage-showing strapless top, and your body-image is going to be “validated” by other students? I have news for these rules-makers. Body-image issues will be magnified, not minimized.
The way people dress is a major indicator of how they feel about themselves, not to mention, preparation for future employment. Try walking into a Walmart interview in your pajamas and tell me how that works for you. In my opinion, if San Francisco really cared about “validating” its students, it would require school uniforms. You know, where everyone looks relatively alike, thereby reducing the competition to one-up each other and actually meeting Fong’s goal to “reduce inequitable and unnecessary discipline and help us maximize learning time.”
I am so thankful I live in an area where a school dress code is in place, where school board members give teachers one less ambiguous issue to discipline, where a moral code dictates policy instead of relying on a “student-centered approach.” (You know, where mature adults know when and when not to acquiesce to students’ wishes.)
I pray that Christians in San Francisco rise up and make their voices heard and recognize this dress code solution is a dangerous slippery slope (knowing those slides never seem to move in the direction of morality).
Maybe it’s time they even go a little bonkers.