Go With What Works

An article in today’s Observer (free registration may be required) talks about one solution to violations of a school dress code. The school provides an oversized shirt for the person to wear. This frees the parents from having to go get proper clothes, it puts the violator back in class almost immediately and it has the benefit of adding humor to the situation.

The problem? Those bothered by such obviously humiliating tactics feel that such action on the part of the school can psychologically damage a young mind. Are these people for real?

A dress code exists. Your child decides not to adhere to the dress code. Whether you allow this behavior directly, or indirectly by not challenging the child, you support it. The student goes to school, where someone calls them on it. They have to wear a baggy shirt the rest of the day to cover their violations.

What do you think about such a decision? Should the school just let the student wear whatever they want, in direct violation of the school code? Or perhaps let them sit there until you can get off of work, go home, get some new clothes and take them to the school? Perhaps just suspend the student from school instead and give them a day off? Maybe we should bring back spankings in the school, and let the principal break out the paddle?

I want to hear your ideas. But before you write, take a look at the facts: At two other schools, representatives say that the problem of dress code violations is now nonexistent. So the policy seems to work.

2 Replies to “Go With What Works”

  1. Good point, Tony!

    Though I think it’s fair to say that the “ugly shirt rule” is known in advance – but I also think that it’s painless enough that even if it’s not known in advance, knowing that you are breaking the established code means you shouldn’t be surprised if you are punished for the act.

    Shooting someone dead, however, is probably overkill for most situations. Unless of course the other person wants to be shot dead, in which case I say if both parties agree, that’s their own business. 🙂

  2. First, I agree with the “punishment”, especially if the manner of correction is published ahead of time. You do the crime, you do the time or whatever the saying is.

    But just because something works doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the morally correct thing to do. As an extreme example, if your neighbor wakes you up at 4AM you could shoot him dead. That’d stop him from waking you up but it’s morally wrong.

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