Off The Press
August 27, 2013
By Kathleen R. Merrill
Put your clothes on for back to school
It’s almost time for young people to go back to school, which means for weeks we at the newspaper have been receiving emails and phone calls galore about what students and parents need to know.
Last week, I got several emails from schools about dress codes for students. This reminder in one of them from a high school made me howl with laughter:
“At all times, your chest/cleavage, thighs/buttocks and shoulders must be covered, and all underwear must be UNDER another piece of clothing and not visible.”
Wow. Now some of you might think I’m being prudish here, but do we really need to tell students to cover up body parts that should always be covered in public, whether you’re a student or an adult? And that we don’t want to see anyone’s underwear?
One of the “in addition” items was “sufficiently cover your derriere.” When did that become something we have to tell people to make sure it happens?
As I was talking about this the other day with a good friend while driving to lunch, we passed a girl on the sidewalk who was wearing what she might have called a skirt. To me, it looked more like a wide belt.
I just have to say, if I can see your underwear or your, um, cheeks, that “skirt” is too short. A girl with that girl, both in their teens, was wearing what looked like underwear, but they were the only bottoms she had on. And no, it wasn’t a swimsuit.
My friend asked, “Are those supposed to be shorts?” I replied, “Well, maybe she thinks they’re shorts. They’re sort of shorts. Let’s call them sorts from now on.”
Seriously, shorts have legs made of cloth. And in my opinion, they need to be more than an inch long.
When I was in school, and it wasn’t that many years ago, girls didn’t go around with their chests and their butts hanging out of their clothing.
A woman I know who is from a generation before me told me that when she was in school, girls’ dresses weren’t allowed to be above their knee. (They weren’t allowed to wear pants to school.)
At school, on some regular occasion, the girls all had to get on their knees and if their skirts didn’t touch the floor, they were sent home to change. What do you think those teachers would’ve thought of girls’ underwear being visible?!?
And while I was talking to a guy about this, he said guys have their underwear hanging out, too. That happens when their pants sag well below the waist.
I have to admit that all of this surprises me, while young people are probably laughing at this column, thinking I’m old. They’ll see one day. Maybe when they’re my age, students will just go naked to school.