Rant of the Week: Killing personal expression

My sons private school naturally has a dress code. I was excited about this when my boys started attending years ago; yeah! just grab a shirt and pants and go! I won't be locked in to buying the 'cool thing' of the week! Yippee! Uniforms are awesome! and I think I may have been overheard saying 'I think all of us should wear a uniform-wouldn't that be easy and great?'.....well, folks I have changed my tune today.
Yesterday at drop off Jack was told his hair 'did not meet dress code standards' and he needed to cut it 'above his ears' and 'above his collar'. Um, never mind that every other boy in Southern California has hair over their ears and past their collar these days. And that this is 2008 and not 1953. But more importantly- this is a personal expression of Jack's style. The poor kid got braces and glasses this year- for God's sake can't you take pity lady and let him have his cool 'surfer' hair? For months I have been helping Jack slick his hair over his ears with hair gel to fake out the uniform police at school. I am an accomplice- so I am just as disappointed as he is now.
So today my thoughts on uniform policies has changed drastically. The whole goal of the uniform policy to make your kids look like a close match to all the other children at said school. Little robotic drones walking around stiffly in their ironed dress shirts and slacks with creases (yes, they wear SLACKS). No room for personal expression (that would be deviant) and no room for fashion. Who cares if the kid looks like a 50 year old accountant from a by-gone era? By golly at least he complies with the uniform policy! Jack is a straight A student- you would think they would let him come in a purple Mohawk if he wanted....(which um, he does actually want)
We are not returning to this private school next year. For a variety of reasons: militant behavior expectations and inconsistent bizarre discipline being only some of the issues. And the hair policy is definitely a huge factor too.....so we have 23 days until school gets out. I am wondering if I can help him slick it back until then- or perhaps a wig? If only hats were allowed.....
(photo taken back when I was a fan of oppressing my kids personal expression)


Amy said...

I guess I can understand why some schools insist on uniforms, personally I'm just glad my two younger ones don't have to wear them just yet. My oldest who is 13 does though and they are easier to figure out but thankfully the school isn't so strict on hairstyles...not that he has much anyway lol

Becky said...

My children go to a school rich with personal expression...mean girls, too tight clothes, using sharpie marker to embellish their jeans and tennis shoes, and get this...parents who pay for a fifth grader to have professional "highlights" in their hair. Hello?

So I always yearned for the uniform thing...until I realized how stupid they are. I mean like what if all of your laundry is dirty? You can't just throw anything on, eh?

Hair should be about personal expression...or at least a tool for extortion and discipline. I have threatened more than once to shave my kids head and glue it to his/her butt. I also have been known to say they can keep the hair if they get good grades. My evil scheme worked, too...the kiddos are doing well and keeping their locks this year! :)

Hang in their mom! The year will be over before you know it!

The Maid

Becky said...

One more thing...

Inconsistent bizarre discipline...
We have that too! I got a 53 item handout from my son's second grade (SECOND GRADE) teachers stating that if a child bumps into another child that he/she should apologize and say excuse me even if it is not his/her fault.

Oh and they were not allowed in third grade to decide when they REALLY needed to go to the bathroom...the result: My son rode the bus home and pooped his pants! I asked why and he told me the teacher didn't let him go.

Get this, I called her...and I asked her if that was true. She said with her tail between her legs that she had refused, because kids often make that up to go meet up with their friends in the hallways. I then asked her if she would like me to send in the soiled underwear to prove that he really had to go. You guessed it, she declined.

Never had a problem with that again.

Psycho control freaks.