Editorial: Drawing the line
May 14, 2011
The Editorial Board doesn’t have a problem with school administrators taking a tough stand on the now infamous ‘boobies’ bracelets. However, it’s ironic they made a fuss about the bracelets but allow some other shabby dress standards to go without issue. If anything, administrators need to set a standard for appropriate dress that doesn’t allow for students looking like they’re at a shopping mall.
With pressing concerns like sagging test scores and decimated budgets, our Moffat County School District administrators were pressed into action this week.
Not to address either of those two important issues mind you, but rather to solve the complexities of whether students will be allowed to wear little rubber bracelets.
Specifically, cancer awareness bracelets that read "I (heart) boobies! Keep a Breast Alive!"
Apparently, some school administrators kept students from wearing the bracelets because they felt the language was inappropriate.
This action drew the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which sent a letter to the school district requesting the alleged bracelet ban be lifted because such a ban would violate students' First Amendment rights.
The school district is now allowing students to wear the bracelets, according to a statement released Friday.
The Editorial Board doesn't have a problem with the district's original stance — formal or not — on the bracelets.
While the bracelets represent a positive and worthy message, they are cleverly branded and attention grabbing and could disrupt the real purpose of school — student learning.
However, the Editorial Board also Contends the school district's stance on the bracelet ban would have carried more weight if the district took student dress more seriously. As it stands now, there are students who wear questionable things all the time to school.
Take Moffat County High School, for example.
Visit the school and you'll see students wearing ball caps. Apparently these hats are allowed, though the reasons why escape the Editorial Board.
It should be noted that the principal at MCHS, Thom Schnellinger, recently wrote a letter to the editor of the school's newspaper, The Blueprint, outlining his reasons against the bracelets.
Perhaps people could take his message a bit more seriously if the students in his hallways were held to a dress standard befitting of an academic institution rather than a shopping mall.
School, the Editorial Board contends, is a place for students to prepare for the real world.
In the real world, most people have an employer and like it or not, that employer has a say in how his or her employees present themselves to the public.
There is a standard to adhere to, and most of the time hats aren't part of that standard, something that perhaps escapes the MCHS administration, and neither are bracelets like the kind at issue.
Don't confuse our message. No one is being a fashion critic here and students should be free to express themselves how they choose, but on their own time.
At school, they are preparing for tomorrow, for their futures in the workplace, and they should be held to a certain expectation.
Drawing a line at the bracelets was the right thing to do for the school district, no matter what the ACLU contends.
It's just a shame that same stance hasn't been drawn more often in the past, that way students have an idea what the actual boundaries are.