School Dress Codes

The place to discuss issues being debated in the 2009-2010 school year -- briefs, legislation and debate.

Moderator: Officers

mlind
Pillar of the Community
Pillar of the Community
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Michael Lind's House
Contact:

Re: School Dress Codes

Postby mlind » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:38 am

The debate is over, but imposing dress codes that most schools already have won't produce any results in secondary education that are worth stomping on some First and Tenth Amendment rights. Maybe if you forced every school in the United States to adopt school uniforms, it would work, but that would be unfeasible.

In our schools, the profanity, and vulgarity of the average teenager becomes worse and worse as the years go by. Today, fashion has become a major part school. If a kid wears Aeropostale, or Hollister, they are considered cool. Many shirts are available that show a vulgar or diragatory statement. This bill works well because it doesn't require a dress code of a shirt and tie, or other Western Business Attire. It only prevents clothes that are revealing, vulgar, violent, gang related, etc. Many schools across the country already have rules along these lines in place.


I think the perceived increase in profanity and vulgarity in schools is more the result of growing up than the absence of federally mandated dress codes. If the language we use is really becoming more profane/vulgar, then maybe society is just becoming more comfortable with kids saying bad words (God forbid). It's hardly a reason for the moral police to come to the rescue.

What do Aeropostale and Hollister have to do with anything anyway? Your second and third sentences sound more like an argument for school uniforms than for dress codes, unless those stores sell the sorts of clothing we tried to ban last Wednesday.

By the way, I don't know if anyone touched upon this during the last thirty minutes of the debate because I didn't stay, but "discriminatory" should have been removed from the bill with the amendment that removed "gang-related." That, or it should have been changed to be more specific. I'd been wanting to point it out throughout the debate, but I didn't get a chance to. "Discriminate" just means to make distinctions. The word "discriminatory" doesn't necessarily have anything to do with race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, etc.

You know, just in case anyone wants to use that word in a bill again.

User avatar
galukal
I Have No Life
Posts: 956
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:51 pm
Location: Located.

Re: School Dress Codes

Postby galukal » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:48 am

Thank you, Mike. I actually planned to say that at the meeting, but 30 seconds goes by fast. The bill was just so vague that any bureaucrat of the moment could demand different standards for it. For instance, those Obama shirts popular last year could have been banned. So could, well, pretty much any shirt with a cause. As for violence, there's quite a few shirts with skulls, one Metallica shirt with an electric chair in use, "Buffy staked Edward"... this is purely a local issue that ought to be run by locals. Sure, vagueness could be interpreted as allowing the school a lot of leverage, but it would also allow the enforcing bureaucrat a lot of leverage, which could end up with chaotic and highly subjective standards.

User avatar
EWang
Debate God
Debate God
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:16 pm
Location: Unknown
Contact:

Re: School Dress Codes

Postby EWang » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:07 pm

The bill is constitutional or nonconstitional depending on whether or not you're a strict or loose constructionalist. However, if this exact bill was passed by the United States Congress, I'm fairly certain the US Courts system would not rule it unconstitional, as the NCLB Act has not been ruled unconstitutional. Anyways, I think we've had this debate about the Constitution way too times to repeat the same old points again.

Mike, "discriminate" isn't the same thing as "discriminatory." Here's the definition of discriminatory according to dictionary.com: "adjective 1. characterized by or showing prejudicial treatment, esp. as an indication of racial, religious, or sexual bias: discriminatory practices in housing; a discriminatory tax."

George,
EWang wrote:Again, Section two is deliberately left up to interpretation. The public school district in Camden is going to have different standards (i.e. more emphasis on banning gang attire) than say our school district. As for comment on fairness and input from the community, the dress code for the various school districts will ultimately be determined during Board of Education meetings so the community and the students will be allowed to contribute their input.

As for subjectivity,
EWang wrote:You seem to forget that school administrators already and have always used their full discretion to determine appropriateness and to punish students.

mlind
Pillar of the Community
Pillar of the Community
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Michael Lind's House
Contact:

Re: School Dress Codes

Postby mlind » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:18 pm

I actually don't really have an opinion on whether or not the bill is constitutional. I mean, it could lead to people stomping on First Amendment rights because of how broadly Section 2 can be construed, and it could have stomped on the Tenth Amendment because it's undeniably inconsistent with the idea of federalism (some powers and responsibilities left to federal government, some to the state governments, some to the local governments), but I don't necessarily think it's unconstitutional.

The point is that, under federalism, the federal government doesn't have much business deciding what the dress code of every school in the nation should include. The intention of No Child Left Behind was to improve education, which would have improved conditions to some extent for the entire country if it didn't turn out to be so awful, but this bill would not improve education because it doesn't really do anything. Most school districts have dress codes banning all of the things in Section 2 and more. I think you'd have more of a case if you made a bill that forced all public schools to adopt school uniforms, because that might actually be an effective way to improve education across the country (but then I'd have more reasons to oppose the bill).

The definition you showed of "discriminatory" says especially "as an indication of racial, religious, or sexual bias," meaning not necessarily. No one denies that, when we say "discrimination," we think mostly of the harm caused by racial and sexual prejudice. Either way, both terms come from Latin, and the Latin word discriminare means "to make a distinction." We aren't banning clothes that make distinctions, are we? What does that even mean, anyway? I don't know, but I'm sure some tyrannical school administrator out there knows.

bliang

Re: School Dress Codes

Postby bliang » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:01 am

EWang wrote:The United States' overall secondary education is ranked 18/36 countries according to a general study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/11/19/ ... 1227104776). Another OECD study. the PISA 3-year survey, showed that American 15 year-olds performed 28th out of 41 countries in math, 22th out of 41 countries in reading, and 29th out of 41 countries in problem solving (http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/1/63/34002454.pdf).

These are probably the most perfect sources I could possibly find for the subject I'm researching right now. Eric, I love you.

By the way, if you happen to find more articles and such on learning such as this one please let me know.

User avatar
EWang
Debate God
Debate God
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:16 pm
Location: Unknown
Contact:

Re: School Dress Codes

Postby EWang » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:59 pm

No problem Bufang. If I see any more stats on the subject, I'll be sure to send you a message.


Return to “Debate Topics '09-'10”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest