Things are happening around here that are causing Major News. If you don’t already know about it, ignore this. If you do already know about it and don’t care about my opinion, I’m not offended. Short story, yearbook photos were edited to bring people (yeah, okay, mostly female people) into compliance with stated dress code. Please understand. I don’t speak for anyone. I am not in any sort of official capacity. I’m their English teacher.
At its core, this is an issue not of modesty but of obedience. There is a policy. It may be archaic. It may be outdated. It may be born of good ideas. I’m personally a fan of a dress code. However you see the policy, you do, in fact, see the policy. The students at our high school see it too.
The posted sign. The sign that says that the policy will be enforced. The girls say they didn’t see the sign. I believe them. I’m their English teacher, remember? I know that posted signs are routinely ignored — every single day. Their not seeing it doesn’t change the policy. *
The problem comes when, like anyone in any position to enforce consequences born of disobedience to a policy, someone manages those enforcements of consequence inconsistently. I have a whole post in my head about the awesomeness that is our school culture, and the remarkable things our faculty empowers our students to do. The important part is that it’s our students who get to do it. And yes, this event shows that some kind of changes need to take place. I have nothing but respect for our yearbook advisor. And the student editor is one of my favorite brilliant/gifted/remarkable people in the world. Even the most awesome of us makes mistakes and manages to be inconsistent. So whatever the plan becomes for next year, there will certainly be better checks in place.
But I’m all for obeying the rules.
And for consistency in dealing with consequences.
And please, please understand, when I look at pictures in my own kid’s yearbook, I don’t look at shoulders. I don’t look for cleavage. I look at their beautiful smiling faces. And I like what I see.
* And right. Maybe it’s time to change the policy. That’s not my job. Nor is it the intent of this post.