Two news stories where students weren't allowed in the schools because of what they were wearing:
A seventh-grade boy was not allowed to attend a school party because he was dressed as Santa.
"It was a holiday party," said Muscara [the school principal]. "It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that."
Let's all take a moment to be sensitive to the idea that this prinicpal is an idiot who doesn't really understand "separation of church and state".
His parents are asking for an apology - "The last time I checked, Christmas was the celebration of the birth of Christ and not Santa Claus," Leslie said. "I want them to make an apology to my son. My son was humiliated."
A girl was kept from attending her prom because she was "wearing a red dress styled as a Confederate battle flag." She was told before the dance not to wear it but says she had no other, so she wore it anyway hoping administrators would change their minds.
They didn't, the prinicpal and two police officers met her outside the school. She's bringing a lawsuit asking for over $50,000.
Both students were given the option of attending after changing their clothing. The boy did so but his principal showed a careless lack of regard for the boy's safety by sending him out of the school after he had been dropped off by his mother. The school had already had a PTA sponsored Santa breakfast so the demand that the boy change seems arbitrary.
There was no mention of the costume being a possible security issue. Because the Santa beard covers much of the boy's face, I would have accepted that as a reason to request its removal...but I don't see any cause to demand that he change completely.
As for the girl attending the prom...the whole thing seems a bit off to me. How did school officials know she was planning on wearing that dress? Did she bring it to their attention ahead of time, knowing it would be controversial? I have a hard time believing the principal and police officers meet all students as they come in.
She says she designed it to show pride in her southern heritage. To me, it sounds more disrespectful of the flag she claims to be honoring.
From what I've read about this case, I tend to side more with the school. I don't necessarily agree that she shouldn't have been allowed to wear the dress but once she was told that it wasn't permitted, she should have either accepted that decision, or, choosing to wear it anyway, accepted the consequences.
It does make me wonder where you draw the line at what could offend others. Some people view the Confederate flag as a symbol of the South. Others see it as a symbol of slavery. Some see clothing that bears arms, legs, midriffs, cleavage, or other body parts as fashionable. Others may be offended. Once you begin disallowing something out of fear of offending someone, where do you stop?Posted by marybeth at December 27, 2004 07:24 AM Box of Rocks