Friday, December 2, 2011

Policy for Policy's Sake

Every school I've heard of has a long list of banned stuff-miniskirts, ipods, alcohol, missle launchers, etc. But some of it just seems ridiculous. Two years ago, my school placed ban on knitted headbands. They cover the ears, so they qualify as hats. That just doesn't make sense to me. The whole reason hats are banned is because they're associated with gangs. I guess that makes sense if you're from Chicago, but my school is in a rinky dinky settlement they call a city because it's to big to qualify as a small town.  I've never even heard of any gang activity going on in my 'city'.
You have to admit, she makes one very scary gangster.
Hats are only one small part of the dress code, but for some reason they're the one teachers and principals pay the most attention to. I've seen people come to school day after day with sagging pants, holey underwear, and shirts that don't leave a lot to imagination. But forget to remove your hood (yep, that's a hat too) fifteen seconds after you walk through the doors and the principal is barking at you to take it off.
Other schools have banned stupid things. In 2010, an eight-year-old boy in Rhode Island was told to take off a hat he made to honor troops. Not because the hat was a hat, but because it was covered with 'weapons', or so the school policy said.

Then there are the books. When I think of banned books, I think of racist books or novels about things I can't mention because my mom reads this. Not Harry Potter, The Giver, Where's Waldo?, A Wrinkle in Time, and James and the Giant Peach.  Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird are constantly under fire because of racist language, which is kind of ironic because they were written to fight racism.
School rules are supposed to protect students, but you can't help wondering if they're blindly following policy for the sake of correctness, rather than the safety issues behind the rules in the first place.

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