Friday, January 14, 2011

Case in point

Wow! Speaking of authority and obedience as I did earlier today, in today's news I see that a student at Truman in Tacoma (where my daughter attends), the administration decided to let students wear Seahawks garb or their school uniform. A student who wore a Steelers jersey instead and refused to take it off was sent home (after being warned).

I feel for the principals there (whom I know). Look at the sanctimonious comments after the article. People write as if they know the situation, and they know that the school was dunderheaded.

I know how this goes. Teachers and administrators repeatedly announce and post that Seahawks gear will be acceptable on Friday (for the playoff game), and Seahawks gear only. I'd be surprised if they didn't specify repeatedly that only Seahawks gear would be an acceptable alternative to the school uniform. At Apple Cup time they probably allow Husky or Cougar gear, and nothing else. They probably have a few such days. If the Mariners were any better....Sorry, that's too much a cheap shot.

I'm not personally fond of these so-called spirit days at my school, so I don't wear any of that garb. But some students and some staff do.

You may say, 'Well, they shouldn't have such special dress days.' And maybe that is right. But given the fact that they did allow it, and this student refused to adhere to the adjusted rule, he was duly warned then sent home.

Do a thought experiment. What if he'd been wearing inappropriate clothing--gang sayings, sexual sayings, sagging pants, or the like? What if he was wearing a Seahawks jersey with a gang sign drawn on it? Should that be tolerated?

They relaxed the rule in one specific way for one specific day. I know some students feel like 'it isn't fair' that...well, fill in the blank with the myriad personal preferences each student might hold. But nothing ever is fair (in our own minds) when it goes against one's own preferences. And, of course, every school has numerous students that seek ways to test or push the rules. And as one commenter noted, this might likely ruin the prospect of any such special days in the future.

Whatever you think of this, though, don't rush to judgment of the school leaders. They weren't nearly as arbitrary or capricious as so many of the commenters think.

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