Teachers’ dressshould differfrom students’

It’s possible we missed the message that teenagers and adults should have completely equal rights, but we feel sure such a red flag would have stood out.

The Bladen County Board of Education recently wasted precious public meeting time debating the topic as it relates to the school district’s dress code.

That’s right … clothing.

At issue was a concern by parents — relayed to the board via Superintendent Robert Taylor — who claimed their children felt it was unfair teachers could wear outfits that students could not. Keep in mind that, within the past few years, Bladen County Schools had adopted a county-wide uniform policy for all students which makes us wonder whether some could possibly think teachers should also be required to wear the same uniforms.

Can you say mass exodus of the teaching staff? After all, they, like so many of their counterparts around the country, are already underpaid and have been basically stripped of much of their discipline powers. Telling them they need to start filling their closets with clothing based on the whims of their students is, well … una opción muy pobre.

Digging even deeper into the dress code debate, some of the discussion centered around whether teachers should be allowed to wear boots with their pants tucked in — simply because students weren’t allowed to do the same.

Goodness, where do we start with how ridiculous all this is?

First, any board member who even slightly give this frivolous issue any credibility isn’t worth their seat. And anyone with children who also gives this vacuous issue any credence simply isn’t doing their job as responsible parents. This should be a teaching moment for the school board by standing behind teachers, and for parents who should be explaining how rules and authority are necessary.

Thank goodness for the reasoned thinking of board member Roger Carroll, who correctly argued that the school district hires professional teachers with college degrees who have earned their status in the workplace and certainly don’t deserve to be bamboozled down to the level of their subordinates.

And we thoroughly agree.

Despite the fact that children are being allowed, and sometimes forced, to skip childhood and leap straight into making adult decisions, we can’t think of a single reason that students should be able to dictate the dress codes of their teachers.

Simply put, children need to learn there are rules and boundaries in life — even later when they begin their careers. And the values of respect, compassion and acceptance will be necessary to teach their own children.

In the end, all the discussion resulted in no action by the board.

We understand children will push the envelope merely as a means of discovering their limits. But it’s up to parents and school board members to push back.



“Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character.” (Robert E. Lee)

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