When you decide to put your child in a parochial school you may decide to do it for very good reasons. Among these reasons is that it seems to be a safer environment offering smaller class sizes. Since the school is generally smaller than a typical public school, the administration and teachers have a better grasp on discipline and handling conflict. One of the problems that I have seen arise is dress code violations. The dress code stated is usually quite vague. A pair of pants one family may view as simply individual can be viewed by others as projecting a bad image.
This is where the confusion comes in. One eighth grade student who attends a Lutheran elementary school decided he liked a baggy pair of black pants. The stitching was bright green. Chains were hanging from the pants. Now, obviously the chains can be viewed as a weapon and needed to be left at home. But aside from that, the pants are just pants. Although other students wear baggy pants at this particular school, the school board decided that these pants gave the school a bad image, along with a black jacket that they also gave a hesitant no to. Several weeks later this young man’s sister went shopping with their father at the same store that he got his pants and jacket. Their father bought her a pair of black pants with bright red stitching. They also came sporting chains that she removed for school. The school allowed the pants. I am not clear on the favoritism that was projected, here but it is clear that favoritism was shown. Perhaps they need to outlaw the color black in the church and school. This will be difficult as I have seen pastors here dressed literally head to toe in black.
Other instances include some students being allowed bright hair color or bright hair highlights while others are told they can’t wear white finger nail polish with blue polka dots. This school allows some students to “break” the code while others are being held strictly to it. It’s mass dress and accessory code confusion. Chains as bracelets and around necks are allowed. If one chain is a no-no, all chains should be no-nos. Uniforms are the only answer.
In this parochial school, just as in many like it, they really discourage against individuality. They don’t want the students to have choices. It’s like walking into a dictatorial society. Teachers want robotic verbal and physical responses from their students. When they don’t get that, they claim that the child is irresponsible and disobedient. They are training the children to be the kind of adults that they want in their church community. These kinds of adults are conformists; don’t ask questions, just do what we say. When we say jump you ask “how high?” This type of school may be okay for very young children, but once they hit 11 or 12 years old a normal child wants choices and wants to express themselves freely. Parochial schools generally do not offer these options.
Sometimes, from my experience, it depends on what your last name is in the community and how much money you have available for the church and school which your family attends. If you are labeled a “someone” in the community you are likely to be given more leeway concerning rules and regulations. However, this type of person is sure to stick close to conformity and do what is expected of them so not to lose their status.
So far this particular school has not initiated uniforms. I guess they prefer to be double-tongued and create conflict. Still, this parochial school has no problem expecting the young man who they prohibited from wearing chains to go into the military in four years to put on the government garb, wear military chains, and kill people. I don’t think so. If they support our children in uniforms later, and they do, then they should assign uniforms in the parochial elementary schools now. This will put an end to the dress code confusion.