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School Fashion Police

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In the public schools I attended, the dress code was plain and simple: no shorts, no hats, and nothing too skimpy. How times have changed. This week, I read about a girl given in-school suspension for wearing Tigger socks and a boy whose battle over this anti-Bush T-shirt went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The school clothes crackdown is aimed at keeping kids from wearing gang colors or apparel that promotes drugs and alcohol, but with the zero-tolerance policies applied at some schools, common sense has gone out the window.

In the Napa, Calif., school where Tigger was outlawed, the policy bans clothing with stripes, patterns, pictures, or logos. Students there have been disciplined for the vile offenses of displaying a heart sticker on Valentine's Day, carrying a backpack with a Jansport logo, and even wearing a T-shirt with the logo of the anti-drug program DARE.

In both cases, the courts ruled in favor of the students, saying the schools could not restrict free speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. But don't expect this to be the last word. Elsewhere the battle continues, with students and administrators butting heads over the color of belts, the placement of pockets, and other such key issues.
Tagged in: School Clothes

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