Respect in short supply

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I invite you to consider this: By raising this ruckus and demanding that Truro Junior High School (TJHS) amend its dress code something much greater is being lost in the process – respect.

(Re: School board places guidelines on length of shorts, Tuesday, May 13, Truro Daily News.)

This dress code is not new. It was in place when I attended school there 10 years ago, and yes, it has seen small changes since then. However, this rule about “short shorts” is pretty much universal in educational institutions across the province. Shorts (which are allowed) simply must be longer than the students’ fingertips when their arms are relaxed at their side. This does allow for some variance in the length of the shorts, but it still maintains both respectful and appropriate attire for school.

Some people are protesting this issue with claims that men and boys need to be taught how to not view women as sexual objects which – in principle – is true. However, this process is a two-way street. Boys cannot change and learn to respect women overnight, it takes time and effort from both sides to re-educate them on this issue. When girls wear shorts that are deemed “too short” and continue to do so it undermines the very effect that people hope to achieve by bringing this issue to light, and it will never be effective as long as there is a double standard. The dress code at TJHS applies to both male and female students, and boys are not permitted to wear ball caps, clothing with attached chains or any offensive/profane logos, and certain white tank tops are also not deemed appropriate attire. By adhering to the dress code put in place by administration students are learning respect for their fellow classmates and for their school administration.

Respect is at the heart of the issue here. Shorts worn to school are expected to be a respectful and appropriate length for the learning environment. This debacle exposes the great lack of respect for the teachers and administration at this school. They work tirelessly day in and day out to provide an education for many generations of students. It is important for parents to respect and support the decisions made by the school administration to maintain a suitable learning environment.

So, you’re looking for something to change? Start with your own attitude. Anyone can make a fuss over nothing, but realeffective change requires a willing attitude and a desire to support those in a position to make that change. Defiance will never achieve that goal, and only serves to destroy the respect our teachers deserve. They work hard to educate your children, surely we can respect them enough to allow them to instruct and the students to learn in an environment that is comfortable for all.

 

Courtney Erskine

Truro

Organizations: Truro Daily News

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