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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back to School Special: Part 2

It's only about halfway through September, only about two weeks into most school years, and already the news articles are flooding in about school behaviors and suspensions and even one article about some little girl bringing in a grenade for show-and-tell. So I guess it's time to ring the bell, have you students find your seats and shut the hell up - here are your lessons for the day.

Lesson #1: How NOT to wear a shirt.

As you'd expect, there has to be at LEAST one mention of a "kids get suspended for untucked shirts" article. It's written into so many school dress codes, and every year the teachers and principals get riled up about it, and you just KNOW someone's going to get suspended. This time it was 70 kids at Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Well, okay, they didn't get suspended for not tucking in their shirts - they got suspended for a more asinine and hilarious reason: protesting the dress code about tucking in their shirts. It's a suspendable offense to encourage other students to violate school rules or regulations. FINALLY, a school law I can support, if it means getting protesting kids to shut the hell up and get back to learning.

For those of you who don't understand why a school would even bother to care about shirts being tucked in, this school in particular had a student who wore a shirt that was too long and untucked, and managed to bring a weapon into school. The superintendant immediately called for shirts to be appropriate lengths and tucked in, to avoid this problem in the future.

For you students out there - follow the damned rules. A school is no place to be hellbent on protesting and fighting "the man" because of rules you think are unfair. Tough. Rules will always be unfair, you'll always be given the short end of every stick, and you keep your head down and play by those rules or you wind up getting suspended or expelled. In the real world, you get arrested, sued and possibly attacked for pulling stunts like that. Fighting for what you believe in is totally cool and fine, but do so in other places than school. You're not supposed to fight in school, anyway - or are you going to protest THAT rule too?

Lesson #2: How to wear a shirt.

For this lesson, we look to Canada, where a 9th-grade newbie wore a pink shirt to school and was harassed and threatened by bullies - being called a homosexual and being set upon by a group of 6 to 10 older students. Two seniors who found out about this incident decided to finally do something about it - once and for all.

They got together about 75 pink shirts and brought lots of pink material for making headbands and armbands, passing them out to the other schoolkids in support of this one freshman who had been victimized. Some students brought in pink clothing of their own, or things like a pink basketball - anything to show up and show support. In the end, about half of the school's 830 students had pink.

The bullies, frustrated by this show up support and what they probably considered to be flagrant homosexuality, wound up furiously throwing chairs and trying to throw around what little weight they had left in the populous. The students responsible for the show of support, David and Travis, said, "Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds."

Couldn't have said it better, kids. Which is why I still think it's a good idea to consider school uniforms or stricter dress codes. The less kids have to think about what to wear to school, the less attention will be brought to what kids are wearing, and the more attention that leaves for school work and LEARNING.

Lesson #3: Sexy dancing is not for school dances.

Another school year beginning also wouldn't be complete without a look into the war against sexy dancing. While I'm not talking about Footloose-strong bans on dancing or anything of the sort, I'm just talking about kids and their lewd and lascivious dance moves being perpetrated on the dance floor. And parents and teachers are STILL trying to take a stand against it in any way they can think of to fight it.

So why care? What reason could I possibly have against the freedom of speech, twisted in a bastardization that "dance is the speech of the body" or some hippie-ism? Because it's a SCHOOL DANCE. I don't even understand why schools still have dances of this variety, other than the blatant fundraising that schools get away with. Pay for tickets, pay for food and drinks, pay for pictures to be taken - just another way for schools to drain money from students and, of course, their parents. But apparently the days of decent dancing and bringing a date are long gone - they're now the nerd version of raves, complete with inappropriate outfits, inappropriate music, and inappropriate dancing. Dark corners, glowsticks and humping the crap out of each other on a dance floor? I don't know why a school would even THINK of letting this go on.

My real beef here isn't with the school for hosting these events, or parents for not teaching their kids any better - my real quarrel here is with the students themselves. You know, I'm not that old. I understand the sexual nature of some dances. I was once a pubescent teenager who'd thrill at the chance to dry-hump the ass of some pretty girl in my class. But even if given the chance, there's no way in HELL I'd be able to do so in front of my Geography teacher, Mrs. Chin - or my AP Chemistry teacher, Dr. Darakjian. To even contemplate a minimal sexual-nature act in front of any of these school figureheads would cause an erection to disappear faster than a bowl of spiked punch.

And what ever happened to the good ol' days of spiked punch? What, you're comfortable risking getting kicked out for butt-grinding, but wouldn't want to risk anything to slip some rum in the punch?

Kids - freaky-deaky dancing is perfectly normal for teens your age. But there's a time and a place for it. The time and place is when parents aren't awake and where parents and teachers would not go. Basements with your teenage friends, a hallway closet, an authentic warehouse rave - these are appropriate places to get your "freak on" without the watchful eye of chaperones and assistant-principals.

There's the bell. Class will resume at a later time, possibly after you've had time to recover from the cafeteria food.

(Article about Lesson #1)
(Article about Lesson #2)
(Article about Lesson #3)

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