School uniforms- attractive distraction

Two #Abbotsford schools to adopt dress code for September theprov.in/RfyJUR

Window dressing-
its nice and egalitarian but if policy makers think it will deter bullying of children I think they are naive or decietful. I know ‘schooling’ is political- more than ever, but school dress code like any policy needs more than code and enforcement. Policy that works need cultural values and social context. Uniforms will not change school culture that much. It might be nice or even beneficial but not necessarily targeted or enduring. Too many policies are driven by flavour if the day or some hot marketing( system ) trend but not practical measurable or lasting. Look at the ‘smoke free or drug free zones’ in school districts. We still have ‘smoke pits’ ! Kids still do drugs, skip class, drive too fast and dump garbage. Improvements take deep long term commitments and cultural change.

If parents think they won’t be buying ‘cool’ clothes they are dreaming. The pressure from media is still there as strong as ever, in fact, I’ve heard that the forces to identify and segregate classes, cliches and socioeconomic variables is even stronger OUT OF SCHOOL.

Bullying is far deeper an issue than a sweater or necktie. Take away the clothes bullies find other variables like race, figure, looks, hair, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. The Stanley Cup Riots show us that violent under currents exist despite our preference to not see them every day. 50% of our girls under 17 that are sexually assaulted are on dates! 80% of rapes occur in the home! Only 2% of assaults are reported to police. who is talking about that! Bullying? Dress codes? OMG let’s pick our battles people!

This is just pure political pandering to lobbying and not tackling the big big issues in our culture that go way beyond school yards or bus stops. I am not against uniforms completely, if students have a fair voice in the discussion and process but I am SO SICK OF THE FOCUS ON BULLYING IN SCHOOLS! Im in favour of some bullying prevention of course but…WHEN I KNOW WE HAVE SERIOUS REAL PAIN NOT BEING ADDRESSED FROM ISSUES LIKE MENTAL HEALTH, SUICIDE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, POVERTY, AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE! WE SPEND MORE MONEY AND TIME HELPING BULLYING AND AFRICA THAN WE DO OUR OWN CHILDREN IN CRISIS. I frequently see teens who need immediate support for serious painful problems now. Vague preventive measures or gestures of bullying prevention that may or may not be in their school world, don’t help our kids who need triage today.

-Al Smith
Kelowna
literateowl@gmail.com

On Wednesday, July 4, 2012,
The Province (@theprovince)
2012-07-04 19:18
Two #Abbotsford schools to adopt dress code for September theprov.in/RfyJUR

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