Dress Code has been a hot topic at my school this year, fo no other reason than we've finally gotten around to enforcing it. Most educators will yawn at this, because dress code should be a no-brainer. Our community--affluent and style-driven to a point that makes alien ships think twice about landing in the area and look for abandoned cornfields instead--takes the mater very seriously. We've had quite a bit of success, however, and it's working out well. I have to be careful, though, for enforcing it just gets me into trouble ("My underwear is showing?" the female 11th grader asked. "Why are you looking at my underwear?" That was it; I was done). It became surreal today: I saw a girl, a first period TA walking to the office, in fishnet stockings and blue heels with leopard spots on them and said, "Those are interesting shoes." Her reply--"You're just going to comment on the shoes??"--just made me wonder about whether or not their mode of dress is meant only to draw our reaction.
I announced today (and probably shouldn't have, for many reasons) that since Halloween was a pupil-free day, and since this Friday was not Halloween (and since many female high school students traditionally seem to read the word "Halloween" as "Slut-Day"), that costumes would not be permitted. Did I get ravaged by complaints from the students? No. Did I get hounded by the parents? No. So who started attacking me first, immediately, and with the heat of a nova? The teachers. I began to hear stories of all sorts of elaborate costume plans. I was treated to lectures about school spirit (just what the founders of Halloween had in mind, I'm sure) and how I was ruining its very essence. It was as if I had single-handedly slaughtered the Great Pumpkin, and now had to tell Linus he was dead.
My very first Halloween at this school I was faced with a 12th grader wearing a hollowed-out matress, adorned with articles of clothing and stains. "I'm a one-night stand," he reported. Need I say more?